Give a good example of your entrepreneurship
Our foundation provides practical trainings to (young) unemployed people who have difficulties finding a job. During both the bakers and the builder’s workshops that we give they get trained and gain new skills so that their chance to find a paid job increases. We believe in practical trainings. Learning while doing is a big part of our workshops. The trainees start directly with practicing the job -bread baking or constructing.
How old were you when you started as entrepreneur?
I was 45 when I founded the ‘Wij Zijn Rotterdam’ foundation.
What support did you have when you became an entrepreneur?
I didn’t get much financial support by funds, banks and other funding bodies.
What problem are you trying to solve and why?
We are helping people who have been unemployed for a long period of time for different reasons to increase their opportunity to find a job again. In a multifunctional surrounding people are given the possibility to perform activities that make sense. This helps them to become self-confident.
What is your target group? Level of impact (concentrated to the specific group, local, regional, wider…)
Our target group is people living in Rotterdam. People with mental disabilities work at the bakery together with various colleagues – people who have lost their job, students doing their internship or refugees who have recently arrived in the country.
Is social enterprise the best way they can help?
A social enterprise aims at impact and increasing of people’s skills and confidence. This is considered more important than the profit. When your aim is only profit there is little space left for people’s growth.
Why this industry/area/topic, and why now?
I believe in practical training of people. There is a large group of people who are not willing to learn from books or attend school. But they want to learn by doing. Achieving new skills is for these people very important and there should be paid more attention to it. Working with your hands can give you lots of satisfaction.
KEY CHALLENGES AND SUCCESS FACTORS
What drives your motivation?
I think society is so idle and poor, the strong ones get all the attention. The rich become richer and the poor become poorer. Where can you see people with a disability, or people who have flown their country? And especially where can our children see them? This touches me. And there are big groups of people left isolated. These people have no chances and I cannot stay indifferent about that. I have lots of optimism and ideas and I want to share them.
Does your job make you compromise with something or make sacrifices?
My earnings have been quite low for 3 years but I would have never wished to miss this time. The love and the happy faces of these people make me a happy person.
What does it take to be successful?
Focus; Good overview; Creativity
What are the benefits, both personal and social?
It is great to experience that you can mean something for other people. And to make these people extremely happy with the work they can do.
SKILLS AND COMPETENCES
The most relevant skills and competence to perform your initiative/business successfully
Be persistent Be optimistic;
Be able to get people involved into your plans;
Be able to listen;
I have had many different jobs in my life. All the skills and knowledge I have gained through the years also when I was a student, I can perfectly apply now in my social enterprise.