Participants from the Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) presented their social enterprise projects on 16 December 2014 as part of their studies. During the event, RSM’s Professor Rob van Tulder awarded the RSM Most Inspirational Social Enterprise of 2014 certificate to WeHelpen.

The 19 social enterprise projects were conducted by students from RSM’s Dutch-taught Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde programme who started their studies in September 2014 and are finishing their first semester. In addition to courses on strategy, finance and organisation, participants used their new knowledge to advise on a pressing issue of a social enterprise. Participants analysed the complex network of stakeholders of social enterprises. Working not only with employees, owners, board members but also volunteers, donors and clients puts an additional challenge on organisation that want to be economically healthy and – equally important – want to reach societal more qualitative results.

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. “We dearly need social enterprises to solve the problems of our planet,” he says. “We also need for-profit organisation to work more closely with NGOs and carry responsibility for the big issue of today. We hope through the set-up of this course that RSM also can contribute to the overall success of social enterprise in the Netherlands.” As part of the event in which the participants presented their work, Prof. Van Tulder awarded the RSM Most Inspirational Social Enterprise of 2014 certificate to WeHelpen.

WeHelpen is a free online care network, which facilitates and simplifies care and help in society, in terms of searching for, offering and organising it. It strives to facilitate people in enhancing their social network, offering them more opportunities to offer each other services without costs involved, such as chores in the house, reading to elderly people, and helping with groceries and gardening. The value of WeHelpen lies within its network, says Dorine Snel, marketing and communication manager of WeHelpen.

Participants looked into organisations such as the Red Cross, Cross, Buurtcentrum De Brink, HVC, Nudge, Landelijke Vereniging van WereldWinkels, Het Groene Woud, Care Foundation, Stichting Boba, LaVita Lifestyleclub, De Regenboog Groep, Coolschool, Excelsior4All, Orionis, De Zorgwacht, SKVR, and Popcorner. Participants selected the presentation on Nudge as the best presentation. Nudge connects people and organisations to create grassroots initiatives that provide a positive and lasting change in society.

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

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is ranked among Europe’s top tier business schools for education and 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 the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in 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 WeHelpen, please contact Maaike Schnabel, Directeur Leden, Marketing en Communicatie for WeHelpen, on  +31 6 204 772 88 or by email at

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