The DOEN Foundation operates in pursuit of objectives that are based on the principle of ‘participate where possible and subsidise where necessary’. Although the majority of the annual support consists of subsidy projects, the DOEN Foundation also provides loans. Through its subsidiary the social investment company DOEN Participaties BV, it invests in green and socially committed enterprises and funds that contribute to the objectives of the foundation: a green, socially inclusive and creative world.
There are three aspects to participations that fall under the objectives of the DOEN Foundation:
- They give green and socially inclusive start-ups access to necessary development capital at a stage that most other funders consider too risky. Without the investment of DOEN Participaties, these start-ups or funds could either not contribute to a liveable world or only to a limited extent.
- Participation can prevent companies from straying from their original sustainable or socially inclusive mission.
- By participating, DOEN Participaties can remain involved longer with impactful companies that have innovative ideas.
DOEN Participaties does this by providing convertible loans, equity investments or guarantees, or by investing in funds. DOEN Participaties does not aim for financial profit, but primarily for social benefits. However, participation creates the possibility of using resources multiple times. Loans are repaid, shares are sold at a profit and/or a dividend is paid out. This is how the impact that DOEN Participaties has on society grows.
In the case of equity investments, at each stage there is an assessment of whether the sustainable or social enterprise still contributes to the objectives of the DOEN Foundation. Monitoring is based on contractually documented reporting on substantive and financial progress. DOEN Participaties will not seek an exit as long as a company contributes to the achievement of the objectives of the DOEN Foundation and as long as DOEN Participaties has a role to play within the enterprise. In other cases, DOEN Participaties will work towards an exit, but is patient. This strategy is very different from that of other investment companies, which generally adhere to a period of six years. In the case of an exit, DOEN Participaties attaches great importance to the continuation of the mission in selecting a potential buyer. In this way, contributing to a liveable world remains paramount even without the input of DOEN Participaties.
Want to know more? Read here about the role that DOEN and DOEN Participaties have played in The New Motion.