Enviu, Innovators in Sustainability

It is about time we take a closer look at the organisation behind the Sustainable Dance Club and the Hybrid Tuk Tuk, two brilliant projects, both innovative and sustainable. Enviu is no ordinary company. How could they be if their job is to "scout and generate brilliant (or WOW!) ideas regarding innovative sustainable entrepreneurship." Finding attractive business solutions to an environmental or social problem it the challenge this Rotterdam-based group of entrepreneurs has taken on.So what does Enviu stand for? The name comes from "the environment and you" which reflects the idea that people and the environment depend on each other. Restoring the balance between both in situations where it is needed is what Enviu work at. Stef van Dongen, founder of Enviu, also confessed that Enviu stands for "I envy You," because people in their studio have the opportunities to work on making their dreams happen. Inspiration and joy are the core aspects of their work and activities.

It was Stef van Dongen who created Enviu in 2002, while working on a project in Chile. He discovered that overfishing was a problem in the area that was leading the local community towards unemployment. The challenge was to develop other means of income, such as sustainable tourism. Different local organisations worked towards setting this up and Stef managed to get young professionals in the Netherlands involved, who wanted to use their knowledge and experience for a good cause. The basic idea of Enviu was born: connect two parties (local organisations and entrepreneurs) to create win-win situations that serve people and planet. In 2004, the organisation developed into a foundation, with a small professional organisation and a strong basis of volunteers. As a non-profit organisation, Enviu started up with public subsidies and clients to finance their project. The goal for the next years however, is to make Enviu a sustainable business and decrease its dependency on subsidies and external funding by introducing a "non-loss" business model.

To see some results of what these eco-innovators have been up to, check out the Sustainable Dance Club and the Hybrid Tuk Tuk project. And let’s not forget the Innovation LAB Enviu is currently setting up in Rotterdam. This will be the place to take your innovative business solutions for environmental and social issues to in order to have them put into practice. Enviu will research the idea and build test models of the eco-innovations brought to them, combining experience with technology, business, and creativity. So if you have an eco-innovative WOW! idea, get in touch with Enviu here. Thanks Oriol for the tip! ::Enviu

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