IGNITE Awards | Deloitte Impact Foundation


Financial Consultation for social startups

Participating in growth programme IGNITE, to support social startups with their challenges – supported by the Deloitte Impact Foundation

IGNITE is a growth program for social startups. From all entries, eight participants were selected and given the opportunity to really set up their business through an intensive training course and the chance to win an investment of 100,000 euros. As part of the process, Deloitte colleague Niels Adegeest provided advice to help social entrepreneurs with their financial challenges.

The IGNITE Award

The IGNITE Award is a start-up prize for social entrepreneurs who bring about real social change with their company. Eight promising social startups were selected from more than forty submissions. They work on strengthening their company in an intensive training program including workshops on the importance of impact strategy, (online) marketing and sales, finance, governance and legal forms. During this process they are assisted by successful entrepreneurs and experts who coach the participants on entrepreneurial skills and guide them in further realizing their plans. Niels Adegeest is involved in this programme through the Deloitte Impact Foundation.

Financial Consultations

Niels Adegeest is a senior manager in the Public Sector audit and advisory practice of Deloitte and was introduced to the IGNITE programme in the summer of 2020. Niels: ‘Helping to organize the financial consultation sessions for the contestants of the Ignite Award, was great fun and interesting to do. In two sessions, a total of 8 social entrepreneurs presented their financial budgeting and business models.’

Three social entrepreneur share their story and reflect on the support received by Niels.

1. Houtatelier Régine

A furniture workshop for talent development of young people who have a slightly different attitude towards life. Read more.

Founder Régine van Heest-Rijzewijk: ‘In the Netherlands, more than 26,000 young people leave their education every year without a basic qualification. And 244,000 young people receive the disability benefit for young disabled people. Only 33,500 of them work. This means that a lot of young talent is lost and it also means a huge untapped and unseen talent potential. I aim to see a twinkle in the eyes of these young people. I want them to start believing in themselves again. At Houtatelier Régine these young people are recognized for who they are. It’s a creative place to which they can give their talent, independent of their colour and identity. 

Niels gave advice on our financing plans. Compared to companies which have been active for some time, startups need to thoroughly substantiate the figures in the operating budget in the business plan. After all, I cannot submit figures from previous years to show why my company will be successful.’

2. Tworby

The conversion module that turns almost any bicycle into a tricycle. Read more.

Managing Director Bob van den Berg: ‘Tworby is a conversion kit which makes it possible to change nearly any bike into a tricycle. The only thing that needs to be done is remove the rear wheel and replace it with the Tworby. Due to Tworby, the life cycle of a bicycle is extended and labour participation is achieved, since the Tworby is made by people with a distance to the labor market. The chance of getting into a cycling accident is twelve times higher for people over 65. This mostly happens when getting on and off the bike. The Tworby helps those who've become insecure and unstable on their bikes. Which next to elderly people, could also be people with an acquired brain injury, a diseases with a progressive course or a mental disorder.

I experienced the feedback session with Niels as very helpful. Due to his critical view I made big steps in further professionalizing the financial part of my business plan. This not only helps for my current business plan, but also gave me insights which I will use during the rest of my career.’

3. Woodwerkers

Wooden fences produced by people with a distance from the labor market. Read more.

Founder Anne Beking: ‘In our large wood workshop we saw planks from Dutch trees and then process them into garden screens. Woodwerkers offers young people guidance and paid work. Due to the great diversity in work, we can offer different levels of work. From mechanical woodworking to assembling.

During the consultation hour with Niels, we received tips & tricks about presenting our financial data even more clearly for the reader of our business plan. Niels looked at our figures without background data, which allowed him to look objectively and assess where questions would arise for the reader. This is important as readers will fill in any ambiguities either positively or negatively. Taken these points into consideration we rewrote certain passages to ensure no financial questions would areise from the IGNITE Award jury.’

Read more about the other five social startups: Hul Le Kes Library, Trash'ure Taarten, Puur Betuws, Kidzstore and Slimme Streken.

Sharing knowledge to make a difference

After speaking to all eight entrepreneurs, Niels reflects upon his experience. Niels: ‘I found the variety in background and experiences, in the maturity of business, products and services very interesting as it resulted into all sorts of questions asked. All entrepreneurs had one thing in common: they showed a great sense of compassion towards the social part of their business. The interaction with them and their coaches was helpful to improve the financial budgeting. Helping them was a good example of sharing my knowledge and to make impact; supporting the professionalization and changes of social startups.’ 

Audience Award and finals

Until November 12, you can cast your vote for the Audience Award. The winner of this award will receive € 5,000. On this day, the four strongest participants will pitch their company during the final. The jury will announce the winner of the IGNITE Award 2020 during the event. The winner will receive a starting capital of € 100,000. The runner up will receive € 50,000.

The Deloitte Impact Foundation

Through the Deloitte Impact Foundation, Deloitte is committed to bring a positive impact to society. We share our core competences, knowledge and network in societal initiatives to make an impact in the fields of education & employment, sustainability and endurability. Read more about the Deloitte Impact Foundation and view our other initiatives.

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