What is it like to work for the DOEN Foundation? Our colleagues can tell you best themselves. And that's why we'd like to introduce you to them! Today, we put five questions to Mirjam Niessen, Impact Investing Principal at DOEN Participaties.
1. What do you do as Impact Investing Principal for DOEN Participaties?
DOEN Participaties, the investment arm of the DOEN Foundation, stimulates the transition to a sustainable world by funding and supporting innovative entrepreneurs in the Netherlands and abroad. I scout new initiatives – pioneers - that seek funding and make our world greener, more social and creative. Once we have found such a pioneer, we start 'dating', getting to know each other to understand each other better. Eventually, we decide to 'marry' each other and pour everything into a contract. In exchange for funding, DOEN Participaties becomes a co-shareholder of the company. And then the real work starts, because that's when the company hopefully starts to grow in impact and (social) value.
2. Which initiative is currently your favourite and why?
All partners are dear to my heart. I am in holy awe of every entrepreneur, purely for the courage and DOING of entrepreneurship. In doing so, we as funders stick out safely. So kudos to all entrepreneurs, and certainly to Grounded, which puts regenerative agriculture into practice in Africa, and PeelPioneers in Den Bosch, which uses an insanely large factory employing fifty people to save orange peels from incineration by extracting valuable products.
3. What are you most proud of about your job?
I am proud to work together with my lovely colleagues with many passionate and innovative entrepreneurs. All these people speak from so much enthusiasm and endorse making a substantial difference. Together, we help make their initiatives bigger and stronger. I find that enormously valuable and fascinating.
4. What is it like to work at DOEN?
DOEN is a very nice and diverse group of people who do their work with a lot of passion. Colleagues really do everything for each other. I like that we as DOEN have so much guts and freedom to make the choice to fund initiatives in a very early phase, which is very risky, thanks to the participants of the Postcode Loterij (Postcode Lottery). Funding based on trust, trusting entrepreneurs but also your colleagues, brings a lot of great impact.
5. What do you like most about your job?
The diversity of the work. One moment you're talking about capturing a company's impact mission in the best possible way and the next you're negotiating the shareholder agreement with a company (it really is like a marriage) or participating in a panel at an event to talk about early-stage investing. And that can all be in one day!