Increasing numbers of successful entrepreneurs are turning to a purposeful second career, driven to investing their time and money in organisations that do good. More and more impactful initiatives are appearing every day, having both a positive effect on increasing customer awareness and receptiveness towards sustainability. However, though many of these initiatives are undeniably beneficial, they are unfortunately still far from contributing to the fundamental change needed to build a circular and inclusive economic system.
Systemic change is in Enviu’s DNA. This is why we are proud to announce that we are joining forces with a group of 9 successful entrepreneurs, brought together by Van Lanschot Kempen. Together we will share resources, knowledge, experience and networks to explore and validate game-changing ventures that can create fundamental and systemic change. This partnership will focus on developing solutions that drive the Netherlands towards a sustainable food- and agricultural system
After many years as an entrepreneurial, hands-on private equity investor, I decided to take a step back to focus more directly on big societal issues such as climate change and inequality. Part of the solution may need to come from government policy and changes in individual behavior, but I believe business has a major role to play as well and can be a force for good. I like to explore how I can use my skills and capital to contribute to that. There is a great need for change in the agri-food sector. There is also a lot of entrepreneurial energy in this field. That’s why I believe in this project. As partners we share our experience, knowledge and network. We need this kind of teamwork to ensure there will be meaningful change in the food chain that can have a positive impact on our planetIdgar van Kippersluis, Founder Standard Investments
We spoke with venture builder Emma Schootstra, project lead of this new initiative, asking her five questions about this collaboration.
Emma, why are agricultural solutions so badly needed?
“Even though we see great innovation in this field, it is simply not enough to fundamentally address the massive agricultural issues we are still facing. The Netherlands is staring down the steepest decline in both biodiversity and soil quality, in Europe. We may be the leader in both agriculture and exports, but nature is not doing well in the Netherlands.”
What makes this partnership unique?
“This partnership is a great example how joining forces can create significant change, compared to individual initiatives This group represents over 200 years’ entrepreneurial experience in starting and growing new businesses which is truly amazing. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can create together.
The mission of this initiative is to make the Dutch food chain healthy again. As an independent project, we are not being held back by legacy or fixed ideas. The objective is to take a ‘fresh’ look and beyond the great things that are already happening, and identify opportunities for fundamental change. We are specifically looking for new, promising models abroad that we can replicate to the Dutch (and potentially European) market.
We’re grateful that the entrepreneurs assembled by Van Lanschot Kempen are investing their time, experience, network and capital to drive the success of this initiative. By combining this wealth of knowledge with Enviu’s expertise in exploring, designing and building new sustainable solutions we can (re)design an effective solution that tackles the root cause of the issue.
Van Lanschot Kempen is working as an enabler in this collaboration: connecting the right parties with the right skills and actively accelerating our efforts with their (financial) knowledge and network.”
What is the focus of the project?
“We are engaged in driving systematic change in agriculture, right at the start of the chain. We look at why farmers no longer farm sustainably or organically, and try to solve those incentive and motivation problems. Farmers in the Netherlands are undervalued and milked dry. That is why in the period from 1950 to 2016, six out of seven farms disappeared. But we need these small scale farmers to help turn the system around.”
What will happen next and when can we expect an update?
“We’ve spoken to many experts in the Dutch food chain to discuss the issues and leverage points for fundamental change in agriculture. From a long and short list of the best local and international concepts, we will select the most promising and impactful and investigate if these concepts can work effectively in the Dutch market. To validate this, we will conduct a test with farmers, customers and researchers. We aim to bring one or more potentially groundbreaking concepts to the Dutch market in the second half of this year.“
The unique collaboration between Van Lanschot Kempen, Enviu and the nine entrepreneurs represents a great example of how we are growing impact. We are guiding these entrepreneurs and investors and connecting them to fields they are passionate about where they can make a difference. In short we’re taking the energy, will and momentum for change, and channeling it with our 17 years of venture building experience.
I had my career in organic waste treatment and sold my company a few years ago. My continuous drive in my live is to create innovative and sustainable businesses activities (both for the planet as for the business itself). Under the inspiring guidance of Van Lanschot Kempen and Enviu, a group of experienced (former) business leaders joined forces to collectively develop such an innovative, sustainable, new business. This is an enriching experience, because every member of the group brings his/hers specific experience and inspiration to the table. This multidimensional approach can only lead to great success and I am happy to be part of it.Henk Kaskens, Serial entrepreneur
Join us! You can contribute and co-create a fair food chain!
Making impact and creating new sustainable business models requires partners, investors and expertise. We are looking for ideas, connections and entrepreneurs with whom we can join forces!
- Do you have a disruptive food concept that needs active venture building? Or know someone with an international food startup that should be introduced in the Netherlands? > Contact Enviu: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Are you interested in joining the next venture project? > Contact Van Lanschot A.R.Mackay@vanlanschot.com