Public benefit foundations, social investors and impact entrepreneurs from a range of countries will come to The Hague to show which instruments and innovations they use to make the world ‘a better place to live’. Impact Fest showcases how social and financial returns can go hand in hand. While The Hague has already proven on numerous occasions why it deserves the title of ImpactCity, this event once again underlines its strong international appeal.
‘Doing good & doing business’
The Hague forms a unique junction for private corporations, international governmental organisations, social investors and hundreds of NGOs that focus on global social challenges in the area of climate change, humanitarian aid, innovation in the food sector and renewable energy. Add a constant influx of dynamic impact entrepreneurs and you have the ideal ecosystem for putting the motto ‘doing good & doing business’ into practice. This ambition was set out in one of the economic spearheads adopted by the Municipal Executive in 2015, when it made a start on realising a competitive start-up and scale-up infrastructure. Four years on, many of the goals set at the time have been realised. The new Municipal Executive has reaffirmed the Impact Economy’s importance for a future-proof city – entirely in line with The Hague’s status as International City of Peace and Justice. And it is also another means by which The Hague can contribute to the realisation of the UN’s sustainable development goals.
A competitive business climate
The Municipality of The Hague wants to stimulate the Impact Economy by creating a very favourable business climate for young entrepreneurs and by making as many targeted investments as possible in people, locations, experiments and ideas. Over the past few years, The Hague has strengthened the start-up hub in the Binckhaven industrial area with thousands of extra metres of space for innovative entrepreneurs. In addition, the Municipality has taken major strides when it comes to facilitating access to networks, capital, talent and markets.
At the annual Impact Fest, socially engaged entrepreneurs from all over the world are given a platform to present their business, pitch their ideas to investors, share experiences and enjoy coaching support. An initiative of the Municipality of The Hague, it has only taken Impact Fest three years to grow into the largest impact event with international start-ups in the Netherlands. Thanks to The Hague’s strong reputation as the Netherlands’ premier impact city, EVPA decided to participate in the most recent edition of Impact Fest, in October 2018. At this event, EVPA and ESADE Business School organised a joint workshop dealing with new developments within the financial sector and the effects of guidelines for investing with impact versus investing for impact. The attraction and optimal investment of capital for the public good are core activities for this European network of venture philanthropists and social investors with an impact first profile. And it has now chosen The Hague as its destination.
EVPA anniversary in The Hague
The EVPA anniversary event is expected to bring together some 800 to 1,000 social investors and venture philanthropists from across the planet in The Hague. In this special global edition, the attendees will be looking back on the results achieved over de past 15 years. And they will also be looking forward, along with the ecosystem of international financiers who work from the principle of ‘doing good & doing business’ in their philanthropy and investments. For The Hague, the 2019 event will not only present a unique occasion to bring a large, international group of socially engaged financiers in touch with entrepreneurs in ImpactCity The Hague. It also creates a wealth of opportunities to exchange in-depth knowledge and consequently substantially increase the impact entrepreneurs’ reach within these valuable networks. Besides focusing on EVPA’s regular European members, the 2019 anniversary edition will be paying special attention to successes achieved on the basis of this philosophy by EVPA’s sister organisation AVPN in Asia and the initial results of similar initiatives in Africa and South America. It promises to be an excellent opportunity to work together with experts and partners from across the planet on innovations for a better world. The first partners have already registered – can we count you in? “As Deputy Mayor of The Hague I am delighted that the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) has chosen The Hague as host city for next year’s anniversary edition! We regularly bring companies and creative entrepreneurs in touch with members of our local network. Around 200 NGOs work within this international network on sustainable development goals, innovation and technology. Both the Municipality of The Hague and the EVPA attendees invest in solutions that contribute to a better world. I believe that together we can achieve substantial change.” Deputy Mayor Saskia Bruines.
ImpactCity The Hague
Why is The Hague so attractive as a business location for impact entrepreneurs? Leila Janah of the impact scale-up Samasource: “There are so many incredible companies, entrepreneurs, investors and overall innovators in The Hague that could change the face of this planet for the better. I often talk with friends and colleagues about how we might replicate this in San Francisco. I think of San Francisco as The Hague’s ‘sister city’, in that we’re starting to see more social businesses pop up and maintain a similar open-minded culture.”