Photo shows from left to right: Tatiana Glad (Co-founder and Director Impact Hub Amsterdam), Udo Kock (Councillor for Finance, Economic Affairs, and Zuidas, City of Amsterdam) and Ellen Oetelmans (Program Manager, Amsterdam Impact).
The City of Amsterdam employs about 15,500 people, making it Amsterdam’s biggest employer. Impact Hub Amsterdam has a community of nearly 500 social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and other social innovators. The City and social entrepreneurs have one crucial thing in common: they are both committed to solve societal challenges. How do we enhance the collaboration between the municipality and these entrepreneurs? The answer lies in building an effective, city-wide ecosystem for impact.
Amsterdam's evolution as impact-positive city
In 2015, the City of Amsterdam and Impact Hub Amsterdam started a relationship to share ideas, networks, actions and reflections to make the city’s growing social entrepreneurship ecosystem more explicit and better equipped. Amsterdam Impact, the City of Amsterdam’s Action Program for Social Entrepreneurship 2015-2018, engaged stakeholders in adding value to the city and to each other. Social entrepreneurs and the startups they founded, civil servants, capital providers, big and small business, as well as advocacy and expert institutions have all contributed to Amsterdam’s evolution as an impact-positive city.
A model for building a city ecosystem for impact
As we reflect on three years of collaboration, we are pleased to share what our partnership has accomplished and what we have learned. We provide a simple model to capture the essence of our approach in four nested building blocks: Create Right Conditions, Build Entrepreneurship, Facilitate Access to Capital, and Strengthen Connections. Our aim is long-term: to solve societal challenges in an entrepreneurial way.