Dutch circular entrepreneurs share international experiences

December 04, 2020

On December 2nd HCH and RVO organized an online session especially for Dutch circular entrepreneurs. Participants were updated about the interest in circular economy in various countries and what opportunities and challenges have been created by COVID-19. Jan Jaap Folmer (Upp), Heleen van Wijk (Groningen Seaports) and Wilma Kleefsman (Waste2Wear) talked about their experiences with circular entrepreneurship abroad. Freek Van Eijk reported the latest insights from Holland Circular Hotspot and the opportunities in spotlight countries and Claire Hooft Graafland gave an introduction on the support of RVO for international business. The enthusiasm of the speakers stimulated a lively interaction between the participants. 

Below you find a wrap-up of the main insights of the meeting and the registration video of the event (in Dutch).



International momentum for circular business

All speakers have seen growing interest outside the Netherlands for circular products and services since the start of COVID-19. Wilma Kleefsman of Waste2Wear has been receiving much more international requests for their high-end textile products of recycled plastics. This motivated the company to participate in the virtual mission Sustainable fashion to France. So despite the current restrictions for traveling it seems the right moment to start exploring and developing international opportunities.

Unexpected advantage of the current travel restrictions is that missions and matchmaking are organized online, which makes participation much more accessible for startups and small companies in the orientation phase. Efforts in time and money are limited but still give good insights of the opportunities. Jan Jaap Folmer of Upp! Upcycled Plastics participated in the recent virtual mission to 5 Asian countries and received many reactions.

Last but not least: joining the network  of Dutch circular entrepreneurs that go international also gets you in contact with other Dutch entrepreneurs that share your vision and could help you in your business. Heleen van Wijk of Groningen Seaports is looking internationally for partners to participate in the plastics recycling cluster in the North of the Netherlands. But partners from the Netherlands are very welcome as well. In the session first contacts were made between several companies.

All in all we look back to a successful session summed up in the reaction of one of the participants: Where can I sign up for the next meeting?

Watch the registration of the webinar below (video starts few minutes into the meeting). We also added the video of RVO that couldn’t be shown during the webinar and the video that Upp! made for their participation in the virtual mission to Asia.

Find the presentations here: Presentaties HCH Vragenuur

Interested in what Holland Circular Hotspot can do to support you? Go to our page For Dutch Organizations.