Due to the success of the previous BMC programmes, this past fall’s participants found themselves already in the 8th edition – where we found ideas ranging from eco-friendly child transportation to helping refugees to integrate better and faster in local society. With the help of business experts, mentors and experienced social entrepreneurs, the ideas improved and assumptions were tested constantly, to be finally presented in the grand-finale: The Pitch Event. During this event last 10th of December in Amsterdam all participants had the chance to pitch their business plans to the Impact Hub wider community, ranging from stakeholders like Rabobank and Accenture to friends and potential future clients.
Each participant was allowed to impress the audience in a one-minute pitch. After this exciting minute, different stakeholders could invest a symbolic amount of money in the highest potential ideas – and as a result, a group of three participants was selected. All three had the chance to have a final 3-minute pitch, which finally gave us the programme’s winner: Takecarebnb! Maja Gricic and Reinout de Kraker’s entrepreneurial solution focuses on housing refugees in temporary Dutch ‘foster’ families. Besides a solid plan, Maja Grcic’s moving pitch touched the heart and minds of the crowd and demonstrated the power of citizen leaders who passionately fight for social justice. Being a refugee herself enabled Maya to tell an authentic and convincing story of why this initiative is important. The audience applause was thundering. Winning the Business Model Challenge means for the fresh startup Takecarebnb the opportunity to work at Impact Hub for the coming six months and to develop and professionalise the venture with the support of peers and stakeholders.
“The Business Model Challenge taught my participating colleague the possibility to change the perspective from ‘what’s to be done today’ to ‘what should we do on a three-month horizon’. It pushed him to visit refugees himself to check assumptions, and take a broader perspective on creating a more professional organisation.” Maja Grcic, Takecarebnb
By Suzanne van de Staaij | Trainee University of Amsterdam | Social Entrepreneurship