EPG Blog Series: Enviu
In entry four for this EPG Blog Series, we’ll be looking at Enviu, a Netherlands-based entrepreneurship initiative that employs the trendy tactic of harnessing the power of the crowd while supporting entrepreneurs, keeping things sustainable and solving the world’s ills.
Enviu accomplishes all this through a unique and structured process. First, it finds a specific challenge to tackle. These challenges run the gamut from international development issues to environmental concerns. For example, current challenges include:
- How to deal with the human waste running through the streets of Nakuru County in Kenya
- How to get the plastic out of the world’s oceans
- How to solve the youth unemployment crisis (our personal favourite)
Individuals, communities, companies – anyone can submit a challenge idea. Enviu partners up with a challenge-presenter and offers up the challenge to its global community of 10,000+ young entrepreneurs, innovators, experts, etc. in its ‘Co-Creation Challenge’. People who come up with a product/service/plan to tackle the challenge put their idea forward. The best ones get to pitch their concept directly to the stakeholders and some get funded and turned into enterprises.
This is where Enviu’s Business Development system comes into play. Enviu partners itself with the idea, even taking a minor share, and gets to work supporting its developers. Considering the founder of Enviu Stef van Dongen has a Bachelor’s in entrepreneurship and a Master’s in business administration, expertise is not in short supply at Enviu. Legal, operations, marketing – Enviu helps its start-ups with all of it.
The startups developed so far are brilliant, like this project in India that offers cheap, nutritious home-cooked meals to poor families and the concept of ‘Energy Floors’, which is making clubbing more energy-efficient. Check out the rest of Enviu’s start-ups on its website.
Enviu’s process requires a lot of experimentation and risk, so it works hard to keep its partners and funders satisfied and get results. Its staff realise they can’t micromanage everything and that some things take time – wisdom they must impart to the entrepreneurs they work with.
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