On November 3rd, 2020, the first Nyenrode Breakfast Session of the academic year 2020-2021 took place online, organized and run by Nyenrode students on behalf of the JCV student association. Keynote speaker Loek van den Boog – Founder and Chairman of Net4kids and Chairman of private equity firm General Atlantic Netherlands – introduced the participants with Net4kids, a matchmaker between business and local child aid projects in Asia and Africa. He explained that the level of awareness for Corporate Social Responsibility is extremely high, but many organizations do not know how to make a difference. That is why Net4kids motivates and stimulates the business world to play a decisive role in the future of these kids, by offering Employee & Client engagement programs to strengthen a company’s investment. They do this by directly linking companies to one of Net4kids' projects and by offering employee and customer programs that strengthen the social investment of an organization.
Van den Boog kicked off the session by explaining that the traditional charity world is not used to focus on (social) Return on Investment: you just give money and hope it is going to be spent ok. But to give the next generation the chances they deserve, it is key to show investors what their money can do – that investing in charity is not just a drop in the ocean. That is why Net4kids focuses on micro-initiatives and local heroes – stating ‘many micro makes macro’. And showing the results of their investments, like helping 275.000 kids to go to school.
To give children sufficient chances to shape their future – first and foremost through education – three parties play a key role: government, NGO’s, and businesses. Van den Boog explains that governments fall short due to the self-centric trend to focus on the next election and NGO’s are often too fragmented. Businesses have the power, the expertise, and the financial muscle to be really effective. Net4kids therefore focuses on making the perfect match between the local NGO-initiatives and businesses. This in return contributes to the success of the business itself by attracting and retaining talent, increasing customer acquisition and loyalty. The challenge however is to bring social responsibility into the board room and give it more (and lasting) priority.
Van den Boog prepared a case – divided in five topics – for the students, faculty, and guests from the corporate world. The main questions were how to give more priority to investing social projects, how to differentiate from other charities and how to create more awareness. Lively discussions took place in the five online breakout rooms, followed by the presentation of possible solutions. One suggestion that was particularly helpful to Van den Boog was to not only focus on qualitative results, but to quantify the KPI’s to show businesses the impact and results of their projects. This can be done by outsourcing capacity to consolidate the data needed.
Other advices focused on helping businesses to scale their investments. Net4kids already has Employee & Client engagement programs to create a stronger movement within a company – by helping them scale up you can make an even bigger impact. In terms of awareness, the participants advised to not compete with other charities but rather to connect and build on existing effort. Van den Boog’s own advice and request was to bring the discussion to the board room of organizations, to show the possible Social Return on Investment – especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic where people at the bottom are hurt most. He ended the breakfast session by thanking the participants – referred to as the next generation entrepreneurs – for their active and passionate involvement in the discussions.
Online Breakfast Sessions
Four times per academic year Nyenrode Amsterdam organizes inspiring Breakfast Sessions together with student association JCV. For participating companies, these sessions provide an open platform for them to share their personal story and experience. Furthermore, it offers a unique opportunity for companies to present their business challenge to our (inter)national top students and get advice and ideas in a short time. The feedback received on these recommendations show that the companies who participated are always positively surprised about the outcomes of these short but powerful morning sessions. For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Net4Kids connects companies in the Netherlands with suitable, concrete child aid projects in Africa and Asia with a business approach and emotional commitment. For more information visit: https://net4kids.org/en.
About the JCV
The Jongste Compagnie van Verre (JCV) was founded in 2011. Back then it was led by Bachelor students of the Nyenrode New Business School. In 2019 this changed because Nyenrode Business University started with a Master of Science in Management and a Full-time MBA program in Amsterdam. Ever since the association is led by a combination of Bachelor, Master and MBA students. The JCV offers a platform for students of different social and educational backgrounds to connect and built relationship that will last a lifetime. For more information about the JCV visit: https://jcvamsterdam.nl.
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