Social Inclusion is still not the norm, but it remains the goal of the VriendenLoterij Fonds. They believe that it should be possible for everyone to take an active part in society. Unfortunately, there are still too many people on the sidelines. They may lack training, qualifications or a social network. Or they may have mental or physical limitations that prevent them from fully participating in today’s complex society. Social enterprises give them a chance to participate.
There are an increasing number of initiatives aimed at enabling vulnerable groups to participate in society. These social entrepreneurs focus on people who are unable to work or find it more difficult to do so, including people with disabilities, the elderly and new Dutch citizens. They provide them with learning-while-working employment, daytime activities or paid work.
The VriendenLoterij Fonds, which is part of the DOEN Foundation, supports social enterprises and initiatives dedicated to enabling vulnerable groups of people to take an active part in Dutch society. They are pioneers who think in terms of solutions and offer people a valuable place in society. And their social enterprises are based on a solid revenue model.
With the contribution from the VriendenLoterij we provide them with direct support in the form of grants, loans, guarantees or investments. Examples are:
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 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.