Social Entrepreneurship and Inclusion

Everyone participates, everyone matters

Social inclusion today is still not the self-evident quality of society it should be, but it is the goal of the DOEN Foundation. For it should be possible for everyone to participate actively in society. Unfortunately, there are still too many people waiting, unappreciated for their talents, despite of their mental or physical challenges. For example, because they lack training, the proper qualifications or a (social) network to guide them in today’s complex society. Social firms value social inclusion and therefore offer vulnerable people the opportunities to get back on board. 

An increasing number of initiatives and social entrepreneurs focus on people who can no longer work or experience difficulty in working, including people with a disability, the elderly and new Dutch citizens. The social entrepreneurs provide them with learning-while-working employment, daytime activities or paid work.

Support from DOEN

DOEN supports social enterprises and initiatives that promote the economic and social participation of vulnerable groups of people in Dutch society. These pioneers create solutions and offer people a valuable role in society. Their social enterprises are based on a solid revenue model.

DOEN offers them direct support in the form of grants, loans, guarantees or investments. Examples are:

Fun Forest: Work in practice

Fun comes first in Fun Forest’s four climbing forests in the Netherlands. In addition to a fun day climbing in nature, this social firm also offers workplaces to young people who find it difficult to find employment. Here they develop their self-confidence and a positive attitude towards their future, with a prospect to studying or reintegration into the job market, for example. In addition to workplaces in the climbing forest, Fun Forest also offers learning-while-working opportunities at their restaurant Boss Kitchen, where young people are trained for the catering and hospitality industry.

Toolbox: A place for everyone

Toolbox is a centre for personal development in the former zoo at the Dutch town of Emmen. With several workshops, Toolbox helps people to work on their personal and professional development so they become part of society. Toolbox provides guidance, workspace, machines, techniques, knowledge and a valuable network with which everyone gets the best possible opportunity to develop. It is a creative and innovative environment where everyone receives guidance regardless of their background.

Other initiatives


If you would like to make an application, please read the programme criteria first.
If you want to know more, or have questions, please send an e-mail to Tessa Geertsema at [email protected]