In the Netherlands the number of impact entrepreneurs – who tackle societal challenges through entrepreneurship – is rapidly rising. As they move through different stages of business development, impact entrepreneurs run into various obstacles, such as complicated government legislation and regulations.

"The City Deal Impact Entrepreneurship is special because different levels of government, including national authorities, are collaborating with ecosystem partners on systemic change and concrete actions to remove the barriers faced by impact entrepreneurs," says Ellen Oetelmans, Programme Manager of Amsterdam Impact, the City of Amsterdam’s impact entrepreneurship initiative, which will coordinate the deal within the municipality. 

Mona Keijzer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs & Climate Policy, launched the City Deal on the 11th of March during VNG International's Global Goals Meetup, which was no coincidence. “The choices that municipalities, companies and individuals make can also have a major impact on the world,” Keijzer said in her video message.

On the 17th of March, Victor Everhardt, Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs, officially signed it on behalf of the City of Amsterdam. Together with 79 partners, Amsterdam aims to strengthen the Dutch impact entrepreneurship ecosystem, and accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive economy. 

“We have yet to see a similar deal in another country,” says Oetelmans of this diverse alliance that includes other impact enterprises, the national government, provinces, mid-sized and large Dutch municipalities, knowledge institutes, network organisations, finance providers, and consulting firms.

Set to run until March 2024, the City Deal will stimulate ecosystem connections, develop impact-driven revenue models, and support the growth of impact entrepreneurs by, for instance, increasing the flow of capital. 

The signatories will also make a conscious effort to boost the collaboration of impact enterprises and traditional businesses. “An integral part of the City Deal is raising awareness of impact enterprises among impact-minded SMEs and larger companies, and thus encouraging partnerships that can yield innovative solutions to societal challenges,” Oetelmans concludes.

Go here for the text of the City Deal Impact Entrepreneurship (in Dutch) and its full list of signatories. 

Are you part of an Amsterdam-based organisation that sees opportunities or obstacles to put on the agenda of the City Deal? Or would you like to join the deal? Get in touch with Amsterdam Impact.