Stef van Dongen
Stef van Dongen
KICK-STARTING ENTREPRENEURIAL AND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR SOCIETAL ISSUES
Programme: Drs. Programme Business-Society Management, 2007
Currently: Founder and Director of Social Enterprise and Incubator Enviu
Nominated by: Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business-Society Management at RSM
As the son of entrepreneurs, Stef van Dongen started working at the family business at an early age. From 1998 until 2002 he worked in business recovery and new business development in the finance sector. He started social enterprise and incubator Enviu in 2003. Enviu aims to create innovations and ventures that address the world’s large social and environmental issues. Examples of the social ventures and innovations that Stef introduced include Energy Floors, which sells and rents out energy generating floors in 35 countries; Micro Pension Fund, which started in Ghana and India to service the hundred of millions of people living at the base of the pyramid without a pension; Janta Meals, a micro franchise chain that is currently selling more than 10,000 affordable, healthy and nutritious meals a day in the slums in New Delhi, and plans replication to India; and Duurzaaminvesteren.nl, the first AFM-approved European crowd funding platform for professional renewable energy projects.
Sustainable innovation for social impact
Enviu is the world’s first initiative to crowd fund equity in 2009. Stef also helped kick-starting various sustainable innovation and social impact projects. In addition, Stef has experience as a board member of organisations such as Rotterdam Partners, (Young) Economic Development Board Rotterdam, Circle Economy, Social Enterprise NL, Bird Rotterdam, and R’damse Nieuwe.
“Stef is an inspirational leader, who founded a very successful social enterprise that takes many initiatives worldwide to support entrepreneurial solutions to societal problems in countries such as India, Ghana, and Brazil,” says his nominator, Professor Rob van Tulder.
Shaping global entrepreneurship
Stef says his motto is “celebrating life together” and he defines success as being able to pursue his life’s work. “It’s all about living and working together with the people I love and that inspire me,” he said, adding that RSM’s Department of Business Society Management provided him with the tools, theories and inspiration to further fine-tune his vision. “Professor Rob van Tulder provided me with start-up support for Enviu by allowing me to work from the department’s floor and classrooms, by opening doors to partners and clients, and by taking seat in the scientific advisory board of Enviu,” said Stef. “I still feel supported by RSM as an institution and its professors and other passionate people.”
In the future, Stef plans so keep contributing significantly in shaping global social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and impact-investing space. “I want to continue creating cutting-edge innovations and social ventures that show that a mainstream inclusive economy that serves people and planet is possible.”