Enviu and Village Capital

Starting World Changing Companies

Village Capital has two local partners in the Netherlands: Enviu and Kirkman Company.  I have been in the Netherlands for one week and working at Enviu’s office in Rotterdam.  Enviu starts world changing companies aimed to solve social and ecological issues under three core areas:  business development, building impact-driven communities and social corporate venturing.  They work across a range of sectors and have currently started five companies addressing issues ranging from sustainable livelihoods in the Netherlands to creating financial solutions for tuk tuk (auto-rickshaw) drivers in India to collectively purchase and own tuk tuks.  The five companies are:  Sustainable Dance Club, Three Wheels UnitedYUNOINURBA and ImpactCrowd.

The Power of the Crowd

One of the unique aspects of Enviu is that they harness the power of the crowd to co-create ideas.  This is done by posing online “crowd challenges” to allow everyone from experts in the field to anyone in the wider community to contribute their ideas of how to address a critical issue.  For example, INURBA (affordable housing in Ghana and Nicaragua) was born out of the crowd challenge Open Source House where over 3,000 architects from 45 countries submitted over 250 designs online.  After the crowdsourcing phase, development was taken offline to translate the initial promising ideas to a concrete business model.  With this type of crowd challenge, creating solutions for a better world invites professionals in their respective fields and also opens up the creative spectrum for new ideas from individuals across the world.

Open Health Community

The latest online challenge launched by Enviu is the Open Health Community, a joint project with Achmea, the largest insurance group in the Netherlands.  The Open Health Community invites submissions for new business models and sharing the best practices of health care globally to improve the quality, affordability accessibility and of health care across the world.  The best business idea will win a prize of 10,000 Euros and the most inspiring best practice will win a journey to India with other health experts.  In addition, best practices will be documented and published into a book.  Watch the video and sign up to submit your ideas here!

Calling for Entrepreneurs!

Village Capital, Enviu and Kirkman company are are inviting promising entrepreneurs to take part in a potential program in the Netherlands where participants have the opportunity to benefit from peer support, inspirational mentors and speakers, connections with funders and strategic partners and a potential investment of EUR 50,000 based on peer voting.  For those who aren’t familiar with Village Capital, a brief description is provided below:

Village Capital

Village Capital provides opportunity to entrepreneurs across the globe building solutions for a better world.  We run 3-month programs (typically one evening per week) for cohorts of 10-20 early stage social enterprises though a process that includes:

  • Intensive peer review and support, culminating in pre-committed investment selected by one’s peers;
  • A structured program involving mentorship and educational sessions led by highly successful entrepreneurs and the investor community;
  • Access to a global network of investors and strategic partners.

To date, Village Capital has launched programs with over 250 ventures from more than 30 countries.  Program content addresses different aspects of the business model and sessions typically include:  Value Proposition, Customer Validation, Marketing for startups, Building a Team to reach Scale, Investor Panel for Investment Criteria, Measuring your Impact, and more.

Early stage, for-profit enterprises with an identifiable social or environmental impact and based in the Netherlands are invited for further discussion.  If you are interested in this program or have any further questions, please contact me at Crystal.gloria.lo@gmail.com.