The Rotterdam Business Case
“Young and Old = Gold”
The Rotterdam Business Case is a project in which Entrepreneurs in financial difficulties are being supported by both students of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and expert Senior Entrepreneurs. The aim is to increase the profitability and the sustainability of the entrepreneurs in difficulties
The Rotterdam Business Case was founded in 2012 and consists of a tripartite cooperation between The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Foundation Entrepreneur Soundboard. Up till now than 1400 Entrepreneurs have benefited from the specific services The Rotterdam Business Case offers. More than 50% is saved form bankruptcy. In the last few years the concept has been scaled up to 5 other Dutch cities/regions and a project has started in Tampere, Finland
Poverty amongst entrepreneurs
Many Entrepreneurs live in poverty. Flexibilisation of the labour market has caused problems among Entrepreneurs. In the Poverty Survey of 2014 the central government organisation Statistics Netherlands (CBS) estimated that one out of six Self-Employed Workers live in poverty. Experts have shown that although economic development and social-medical factors (illness, divorce, etc) may have an impact, a significant underlying cause is incompetent business skills, lack of vision and poor management.
Fishing rods are cheaper than fish
The poverty policy of (local) government(s) in the Netherlands focuses primarily on providing supplementary welfare payments for items such as glasses, a fridge or a sport club for the children to citizens who live below the poverty line. This form of aid does not suite the Entrepreneur: who needs the fishing rod, not the fish.
Approach The Rotterdam Business Case
The Rotterdam Business Case support Entrepreneurs with problems who have been screened and forwarded by the municipality of Rotterdam. The target group are the Entrepreneurs (SME's and Self-employed Workers), who over a longer period of time have generated an income below the poverty threshold. The Entrepreneur has no financial means to turn to a professional advisor.
The triangle Entrepreneur - Senior Coach (former Entrepreneur) - Junior Coach (Student) creates a win-win-win scenario.
In the Senior Coach the Entrepreneur will find a sound board, advisor and mentor, who will encourage the Entrepreneur to regain control, draw up a plan for the restart, overcoming obstacles and challenges. In the process the Entrepreneur will have a better understanding of the business principles, gaining insight into a viable business restart.
Students from Business Economics, Financial Management or Commercial bachelor programmes are the Junior Coaches who provide practical assistance for the restart (streamlining/sorting out the administration, drawing up a cost-calculation), drafting of reports to plan out the various aspects of the restart (business plan or acquisition plan).
The Senior Entrepreneurs share their know-how and expertise in support of the Entrepreneur. The practical aspects required are in the hands of the Junior Coaches. The core of the scheme is the ‘Master Apprentice' principle. Whereas the Senior Coach masters old-school expertise, the Junior Coach bring new-school knowledge (social media and marketing) to the table.
While the students contribute their knowledge to the Entrepreneur and society, they are also advancing their practical experience, learning fundamental skills and developing coaching expertise.The students are coached by the former expert Entrepreneur and will have the opportunity to extend their network.
Co-creation in a Triple Helix
The concept of The Rotterdam Business Case was co-created in a partnership by the University of Applied Sciences of Rotterdam, Foundation Entrepreneur Soundboard of voluntary retired businessmen and the City of Rotterdam. This cooperation in the Triple Helix has led to both a very successful approach to support these entrepreneurs as well as to a very strong partnership that inspires others.
The concept of The Rotterdam Business Case is so appealing to other cities/universities that six cities currently have a Business Case, others will start this year. Elsewhere in Europe, there is also interest. Tampere in Finland asked for our help in 2018 to mentor their start of The Tampere Business Case. Other countries will visit this year.
The concept of The Rotterdam Business Case was Winner of the 2016 European Enterprise Promotion Award in the category Responsible and Inclusive Entrepreneurship (EC). The Network of International Business Schools has nominated the concept for the 2019 John Gillingham Award which will announced in May.
|Award category:||new solutions to complex challenges - a public sector citizen-centric, sustainable and fit for the future - supra-local and local level|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Co-creation, Triple Helix, Poverty, Entrepreneurs, Support, Sustainability|
|Short English description:||The Rotterdam Business Case was founded in 2012 and consists of a tripartite cooperation between The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Municipality of Rotterdam and the Foundation Entrepreneur Soundboard. Up till now than 1400 Entrepreneurs have benefited from the specific services The Rotterdam Business Case offers. More than 50% is saved form bankruptcy. In the last few years the concept has been scaled up to 5 other Dutch cities/regions and a project has started in Tampere, Finland|
|Organisation:||City of Rotterdam|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:||>15|
|EU membership:||EU member|