The third ESSE Europe management meeting was held in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in May 2016. Much of our time was spent further developing our ESSE outputs: the Train the Trainer course aimed at teachers and vocational educators; the Best Practice case studies; and establishing a social network for social enterprise educators.
But, as well as all that, we got to visit some inspirational local social enterprises and went through heaven and hell with our ESSE partners. Social Label is the brainchild of designers, Petra Janssen and Simone Kramer. Their vision is to redesign the economy with people at the centre, and their business links household-name designers with skilled makers who are distant from conventional labour markets. Together they design and make high quality products, many of which are unique: you can buy via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starters4Communities kicked off in Amsterdam in 2013, and is now operating across the Netherlands, with plans to expand into the UK and elsewhere using a social franchise model. Their business model trains graduate “starters” to be social entrepreneurs, with crowdfunding the programme being the first assignment for trainees. Manon and Raoul talked us through their project, then facilitated a challenging workshop which helped us to further develop our own train the trainer programme. Thanks guys!
Our visit coincided with the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch and the city was alive with celebrations of his work. Highlights had to be the boat trip which took in Hell’s Tunnel and the stunning light show in the market square.
The two day programme finished with the launch of the ‘s-Hertogenbosch Social Enterprise Network, where they were keen to hear from “the experts”, our project partners at Plymouth Social Enterprise Network, about how it’s done!