Creating societal impact through corporate procurement

The City of Amsterdam’s social entrepreneurship programme, Amsterdam Impact, works to ensure that businesses with a social mission are getting the help and guidance they deserve. And one of the ways the municipality supports social entrepreneurs is by introducing them to innovative companies that want to contribute to solving society’s biggest social and urban challenges.

Through the Buy Social event series, organised in partnership with Social Enterprise NL, the city aims to inspire the business community to purchase products and services that have a positive impact. Previous Buy Social editions have contributed to successful collaborations, including one between Big 4 firm PwC, and Swink, a digital agency that supports and employs people with autism. Head here to watch a video about PwC and Swink's colaboration.

16 social enterprises pitch at ABN Amro’s Circl pavilion

For the most recent Buy Social event, which took place on 17 October 2017 at ABN Amro’s Circl circular pavilion in the Zuidas business district, 16 social enterprises pitched their products and services to an enthusiastic audience of Amsterdam-based organisations. These included consultancy firms such as PwC, banks like ABN Amro, hotels such as Casa400 and the Student Hotel, municipality players like the Amsterdam Economic Board and public-transport companies such as GVB.

The participating enterprises covered areas relevant to all companies. These included:

This Buy Social event also featured short talks from the Amsterdam Economic Board on the importance of purchasing circular economy solutions. In addition, PwC, Swink, ABN Amro and Vandebron gave talks on best practices for social procurement.

After the pitch sessions and short talks, the 16 social enterprises had the chance to speak directly to companies interested in their impact-driven offerings, generating at least three valuable contacts for each participant.

Watch the video above to get a glimpse into the October Buy Social event. To find out which social enterprises and corporates will join hands to maximise societal impact through purchasing, follow Amsterdam Impact on Twitter and Buy Social on Facebook.

If you want to pitch your social enterprise’s offering, or if your company is interested in responsible purchasing, contact Social Enterprise NL's Bart Krull at