NewForesight recently completed a project on social entrepreneurship with the Dutch foundation, StichtingDOEN. The foundation’s principal mission is to support a green, socially inclusive and creative society. It is a major innovative fund that supports social entrepreneurs in the Netherlands, with eight years experience in the field.
StichtingDOEN contracted NewForesight in order to evaluate their social entrepreneurship program. The project evaluated the last five years of their work and focused on two specific target groups: enterprises focused on social participation and labor participation. NewForesight conducted workshops and interviews with social entrepreneurs and the people they work with.
The main message that came out of the evaluation is that structural barriers are the biggest challenge faced by social entrepreneurs. As was made evident, social entrepreneurs depend highly on external funding, as the majority has not developed efficient business models. Additionally, the enabling environment, that is, training and funds, is fragmented and not structured enough in order to deliver effective support.
The concluding advice presented by the evaluation is that funds and stakeholders need to support social entrepreneurs to work strategically and efficiently, in order to help them overcome structural barriers. NewForesight is currently in discussion with the four main Dutch foundations, StichtingDOEN, VSBfonds, Start Foundation and RaboFonds, in order to explore the possibility of creating a program that will aim to deliver this impact.