Princess Máxima Center wins RSM Award for most inspirational social enterprise

Participants from the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) presented their social enterprise projects on 15 December 2015 as part of their studies. During the event, RSM’s Professor Rob van Tulder handed the RSM Award for Most Inspirational Social Enterprise of 2015 to the Princess Máxima Center for pediatric oncology, which conducts research to find treatments for cancer in children.

The 24 social enterprise projects were conducted by professionals from RSM’s Dutch-taught Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme who started their studies in September 2015 and are now finishing their first semester. In addition to courses on strategy, finance and organisation, the professionals applied their new knowledge to advice on a pressing issue of a social enterprise.

Qualitative societal results

The students analysed the complex network of stakeholders of social enterprises. Working not only with employees, owners and board members, but also with volunteers, sponsors, donors and clients puts an additional challenge on an organisation that want to be economically healthy and – equally important – want to reach more qualitative societal results.

New model for ‘patient journey’

The Princess Máxima Centre for Pediatric Oncology (PMC) was selected based on the work of the project team that documented the experience of children and parents during the child's stay at the hospital. The team shared their analysis with management, medical staff and specialists during ‘customer experience’ workshops. The outcome will continue help PMC to improve the internal collaboration, to improve the communication with children and parents, and to contribute to the design of the new facility. The team used a creative way to extract and present the feedback of children and parents in order to develop a new model focused on ‘the patient journey’.

Organisations of the future

The projects were supervised by RSM faculty from several departments and led by Professor Rob van Tulder from RSM’s department of Business-Society Management. Each organisation investigated by the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde participants is driven by societal impact: they define their purpose not only in reaching a financial result but also by achieving a positive societal outcome.

Prof. Van Tulder says people can learn a lot from social entrepreneurs on how to manage innovative and complex organisations. “Organisations of the future want to contribute to solving the problems of our planet,” he says. “Social enterprise show us the way forward. We hope through the set-up of this course that RSM also can contribute to the overall success of social enterprise in the Netherlands.”

RSM’s social enterprise initiatives

Participants also looked into the Rijksmuseum Muiderslot, Schroeder, Alpe d'Huzes, Brownies & Downies, Better Places, Prinsenkwartier, Woonbron Rotterdam, FC Den Haag, Koop een, Stichting Overbrugging, Wereldwinkel Krommenie, Capri Hartrevalidatie, Evangelische Gemeente Bommelerwaard, het Oranje Kruis, Stichting Aangepast Lezen, Rechtstreex, Seepje, Persu BV, Practica, Taal doet meer, Stichting Voormekaar, and Muzieum.

RSM has a number of initiatives related to social enterprises: scholarships, a research programme and lectures, and is presently working on the establishment of a chair on social enterprise.

Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology

The Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology conducts research to find treatments for cancer in children. Based in Utrecht, it will open a new building in 2017 and then become the largest pediatric oncology centre in Europe, functioning as a worldwide centre of reference, with a focus on excellent care, innovative research and education in the field of child oncology. The new Princess Máxima Center will accommodate 120 patient beds and 1,000 full-time staff members. Its target is to cure more than 90 per cent of all children with cancer in 2025.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s leading business schools, and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in Chengdu, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

For more information on the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology, please contact Bert Elbertse on +31 6 534 06 18 or by email at

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