Dutch financial newspaper FD has released its top 50 most talented young entrepreneurs of 2017. Five alumni and students from bachelor and master programmes at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) are in this list for their entrepreneurial achievements in the Netherlands and beyond.

RSM student Teodor Cătăniciu (BSc International Business Administration) helps motivated refugees to build a new life and a new career in the Netherlands. With Restart Network, which he founded through crowdsourcing, he trains refugees to become programmers in Rotterdam. Companies such as KPN, Incentro and Connect Holland have offered paid internships for them.

“I’m humbled to be included in this top 50 best entrepreneurs list,” says Cătăniciu. “But I know we’ve only completed one per cent of our journey. There’s a lot to learn, and a lot to do still.”

Empowerment through innovation

Cătăniciu, who is due to graduate from his bachelor programme this summer, said RSM allowed him to pursue his aspirations next to his studies. “The honours programme, which focused on entrepreneurship and innovation, was an awesome experience,” he said. Cătăniciu was also a speaker at TEDxErasmusUniversity, which was organised by RSM MBA students.

“Soon, all members of our species will be connected by technology. That is an immense opportunity for entrepreneurs to bring solutions to empower people,” said Cătăniciu. “I don't know what or where I am going to be, but I wish to create something that positively touches the lives of a billion people.”

Entrepreneurial spirit

The RSM alumni in FD’s top 50 best entrepreneurs under 35 are:

  • Ralph de Groot (BSc Business Administration and MSc in Strategic Entrepreneurship 2015) co-founded Restoranto, a mobile application which enables bars and restaurant to send last-minute discounts to people nearby. For every booked meal, Restoranto donates a meal in Uganda.
  • Yvette Koppert (BSc Business Administration and MSc Finance & Investments 2013) is co-founder of Gerrard Street, which aims to develop circular consumer electronics by offering high-end modular headphones via a subscription including regular updates. Koppert’s organisation is backed by the EU's main climate innovation initiative Climate-KIC. Gerrard Street will present a sustainable business model case at the RSM Sustainability Forum on Friday 31 March.
  • Emelita Fernandes (MScBa Human Resource Management 2012) founded Mama Taxi, an electric taxi service for business professionals with only female drivers. By training and coaching these women, Mama Taxi aims to improve their chances in the labour market. Mama Taxi, with three cars and eight drivers, is currently active in Rotterdam.
  • Pieter Levels (MSc Business Administration 2012) started #nomads to tackle loneliness among digital nomads and remote workers while traveling. #nomads, which has more than 1,000 members, creates a sense of community by connecting nomads in the cities they are at through a chat group.

RSM works closely with the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship (ECE), the leading centre for entrepreneurship in Europe. ECE helps aspiring entrepreneurs get started through the university’s knowledge, research, workshops and networking opportunities at the ECE campus in Rotterdam.

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. 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 can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. www.rsm.nl

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at harriford@rsm.nl.

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