Last week the official Kick-Off event of Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen (Entrepreneurs without borders) took place in Amsterdam. This yearly competition is held to get together and support Dutch social entrepreneurs who have ideas to start a sustainable business in Africa, Asia or Latin-America. The Kick-Off was the official opening of the competition, which means that interested entrepreneurs can now send in their business plan in order to receive coaching to further develop their ideas.
Entrepreneurs and experts came together in Amsterdam to meet each other, exchange tips and ideas and to get inspired. The day was filled with networking activities, inspiring talks, speed dates with experts and a small pitching competition. Two successful entrepreneurs, Hajo van Beijma of Text to Change and Roel de Haas of Books for the other 90 percent, talked about their experiences, shared tips and answered questions from starting entrepreneurs. During speed dating sessions experts from VC4Africa, Business Palace, ICCO, SPARK, BiD Network, PUM, Africa Funded, Aqua for All, EY, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, New World Campus, Europe Council and RVO gave advice and feedback to starting and internationally focused entrepreneurs. In the afternoon a Dragon’s Den took place for ‘most promising ideas’. Six brave starting entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas for the jury and public, after which both the jury and the public choose a winner. The public winner won a coaching session with an expert and the winner chosen by the jury won a place in the Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen Summer School, a week full of courses and trainings to prepare entrepreneurs for the competition and for the entrepreneurial journey that lies ahead of them.
The day was closed off with drinks and a delicious barbeque, which created even more opportunities to network and exchange ideas, tips and expertise.
The business plan competition is now open for submissions! Go here for more information and to apply.