Introducing the Hummingbird Fund

At RSM, we already teach our students about the challenges our world faces. For them, just like many people in the world, it can be hard to know where to start tackling these problems. We want to empower them to be bold, take chances, and create solutions for these problems.

This new fund supports experiential learning with a local impact. We aim to empower students to understand the transformative change that starts with I WILL do the best I can. You can support the journey of turning responsibility into action through small student projects of up to €3,000.

How it works

We're creating a fund based on student creativity; giving them a chance to design new projects that help them to learn outside the classroom, and directly have a positive impact on the world.

Each year, we will award grants between €500 and €3,000 to creative experiential learning projects proposed by students, with the successful projects chosen by a panel of RSM experts. Students will only receive one grant per project, and we will not fund projects that have already been completed.

Our staff will help students to deliver and evaluate the project they proposed, but we also believe that the experience of delivering a funded project on time and on budget is an important lesson for RSM students.

Golden-tailed sapphire hummingbird

Recent grantees

Marit de Ridder

Rainbow Walkway is our vision to increase acceptance and tolerance for LGBTQIA+ with the painting of a permanent rainbow crossing path.

Portrait of Marit de Ridder

Louisa Mandt

A project to use sustainable materials to construct flower beds that would encourage bee population growth and place them around Rotterdam.

Portrait of Louisa Mandt

Alicia Glennon and Capucine Talaszka

KaartWaart.nl, a website on which students can quickly and easily type a short letter to an elderly person, to build long-term pen-pal relationships.

Portrait of Alicia Glennon

Positive Impact Society Erasmus

Impact Study & Career Planning is a programme created Positive Impact Society Erasmus to help students find a fulfilling career that creates social impact.

Members of Positive Impact Society Erasmus

Koen Vegter

Koen is developing educational videos and other tools to teach futures thinking and the development of positive futures that students want to aim for.

Portrait of Koen Vegter

Oliver Fuss

Oliver is going to purchase a glass cutter to make vases and other home wear items out of salvaged materials.

Portrait of Oliver Fuss

Max van Oosten

By partnering with local schools to provide free tutoring to families, Bijlesbob is doing its part to help students overcome these challenges directly.

Portrait of Max van Oosten

Maartje Zaal

Let's Break the Shame was set up with the aim of breaking the mental health stigma in our society.

Portrait of Maartje Zaal

Camila Cordova, Rebecka Andberg & Vy Nguyen

Reshirt Rotterdam use textile waste to create new products and sells them online.

Camila Cordova, Rebecka Andberg & Vy Nguyen

Watch us tell five students they got funded

Five students could see their bright ideas become reality, as their project ideas were chosen in the first ever round of RSM's Hummingbird Fund.

Following an extensive application process, project grants grants of between €500 and €2,000 were awarded by a panel of RSM faculty and management experts. "Thank you so much, this has probably made my entire year" says one recipient in a heartwarming video recording of the moment the successful students were informed.

We can't wait to follow these students on their journey, as they learn more about running their non-profit and social enterprises. The projects will be supported by RSM staff to help ensure that the students achieve their goals.

Student getting told they're receiving the Hummingbird grant

Students get their Hummingbird Fund results

Meet some of the grantees

Maartje Zaal

Alongside her studies in MSc Organisational Development and Change, Maartje Zaal founded her mental health charity Let’s Break the Shame in April 2019. Let's Break the Shame was set up with the aim of breaking the mental health stigma in our society. She wants to give everyone a voice and make people feel heard and understood. Maartje will use her grant to create virtual workshops, create videos, create online campaigns, give coaching sessions, and more.

Logo of the Let’s Break the Shame charity

Oliver Fuss

Oliver Fuss (MSc Strategic Entrepreneurship) received a grant to start-up a glass upcycling business. He is going to purchase a glass cutter to make vases and other home wear items out of salvaged materials. Oliver is just at the beginning of this social enterprise journey and the Positive Change Initiative will help him along the way.

Water glass bottles in blue plastic crate

Louisa Mandt

Louisa Mandt proposed a project to use sustainable materials to construct flower beds that would encourage bee population growth and place them around Rotterdam. Louisa also wanted to engage with primary schools to paint the beds and teach younger children about the role bees play in sustainable ecosystems. 

Bee in flower field

Camila Cordova

In her third year of her IBA, Camila Cordova was awarded a grant to scale up her social enterprise, Reshirt Rotterdam. They use textile waste to create new products and sells them online. The textiles mainly consist of garments that are damaged beyond repair and would otherwise end up burnt or in landfill. Camila will be using the grant to buy new equipment, such as sewing machines, and a camera for product photography. A priority for Camila was the ethical treatment of garment workers, and she aims to employ workers from groups such as refugee women in Rotterdam with adequate compensation for their skilled work.

The Rotterdam Reshirt founders

Koen Vegter

Koen Vegter, a Business Information Management MSc student, saw that one of the issues coming out of the pandemic was a decline in long term-thinking and a hyper-focus on the short term. Short-termism stifles innovation and as a solution, he proposed starting a project to educate young people about futures literacy. He received a grant to develop his idea of a Long Term Academy and make educational videos to teach future-thinking and promote innovation.

Portrait of Koen Vegter

You can turn their ideas into positive change

Help students to turn responsibility into action through small student projects of up to €3,000