Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation launches European office in The Hague

The Hague, October 28th 2020 – The Draper Richards Kaplan (DRK) Foundation opens its European headquarters today in The Hague, Netherlands. The American foundation selected The Hague as its European hub owing to the city’s impact-focused business environment and entrepreneurial ecosystem. The opening of its European office is accompanied by deployment of a new $80 million fund to support early-stage entrepreneurs tackling complex social issues.

The impact ecosystem is growing worldwide, as an increasing number of organizations and investors are building and rebuilding their mission statements around positive social outcomes. The Netherlands boasts one of the best business environments for social entrepreneurs, ranking the seventh best place to do business worldwide, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Video: Watch the full live stream event

After an extensive search, DRK Foundation elected to establish its European headquarters in The Hague, the International City of Peace and Justice, owing to the city’s aligned mission. Under the banner of ImpactCity, The Hague is committed to fostering a better, more sustainable and equitable world through entrepreneurship. ImpactCity is fast becoming the leading impact ecosystem in Europe.

Image: Jan van Zanen, Mayor of The Hague, welcomes DRK Foundation

DRK Foundation celebrates the opening of its European headquarters today at ImpactFest, ImpactCity The Hague’s annual forum and the biggest of its kind in Europe. It connects mission-driven enterprises with investors, peers, collaborators and provides a platform to present solutions and share knowledge.

Jim Bildner, CEO of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation: “Last year’s annual report to our stakeholders led with four simple words—The Urgency of Now. When we set out to find the right place to anchor DRK’s work in Europe, we were in search of a host city and financial institution that shared our values and would partner with us to accelerate our Foundation’s mission as we work to support as many impact-driven social enterprises as possible to make the world a better place for those most vulnerable. The City of The Hague and Rabobank as founding partners for our Dutch Stichting are exactly what we hoped to find. They are impact focused and driven by powerful values around equity, which is exactly how we define our work and our team at DRK. We are honored to be a part of this community.”

Deputy mayor of The Hague, Saskia Bruines: “In The Hague, we focus on entrepreneurs who show that economic success and social returns go hand in hand. DRK Foundation is one of the best-known funders in this field worldwide and is the ideal partner for The Hague to further build a social and sustainable economy.”

Startup impact capital

DRK Foundation’s mission is to support the acceleration and growth of enterprises with a social impact mission for the advancement of a sustainable, fair society. With its $80 million fourth fund, DRK is increasing its financial commitment to early-stage social impact entrepreneurs. Capital from the fund will be available to for- and non-profit impact entrepreneurs in the form of flexible grants, loans and equity. DRK will also take a board seat at each organization for a three-year term in order to provide early direction on mission alignment and growth.

Image: Aart van den Beukel (Safi Sana), Lisa Jordan (DRK Foundation), and Jeff Denby (Renewal Workshop)

One of the first Dutch companies DRK Foundation is supporting is Safi Sana, a company that converts human and organic waste into products with added value such as electricity and irrigation water.

Ecosystem partners

With the establishment of DRK Foundation’s new European headquarters and fourth investment fund, the foundation is joining forces with Rabobank to accelerate access to growth capital for impact entrepreneurs in Europe. The Dutch bank is a founding partner for the DRK Foundation in Europe.

Video: Wiebe Draijer, Chairman of the Executive Board of Rabobank Nederland, welcomes DRK Foundation to Europe

Harry Wientjens – Director of Private Individuals & Private Banking Rabobank, Region—The Hague: “In order to properly support social entrepreneurs in their start-up and scale-up phase, collaboration between government and industry is essential. With the arrival of DRK in The Hague and its founding partnership with the municipality of The Hague and Rabobank, our organizations are taking a major step towards establishing the city as the Impact City of the Netherlands and Europe. By investing in social entrepreneurs, we will ensure that we are ‘Growing a Better World Together’ as Rabobank’s mission states.

About DRK Foundation

Since 2002, DRK Foundation has been funding and supporting entrepreneurs from the United States with the potential to make a social and ecological impact. The organization has offices in India and Africa – and now also in Europe. The organization currently supports 176 companies. They focus on improving health, education, food security, social justice, water and sanitation, transparency and accountability, and shelter.

About the Municipality of The Hague / ImpactCity

ImpactCity The Hague is the city for entrepreneurs who want to build a better world. The city stimulates “doing good & doing business” in all kinds of ways, such as help with location, visibility, financing, network, good infrastructure and business advice. The Hague’s locally rooted, yet strong international network connects NGOs, knowledge institutes, established companies, governments and many innovative entrepreneurs who are working to solve global challenges.
www.impactcity.nl / www.impactfest.nl