Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

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logo PC3

logo NIKOS


We are pleased to invite you to our symposium about social entrepreneurship on May 27. In this symposium we would like to share what we have done and achieved so far with regard to the research, education and valorisation of social entrepreneurship. At the same time we would like to strengthen our network and work together with you on the challenges to foster entrepreneurial initiatives at the bottom of the pyramid.


Since the early days, the University of Twente has profiled itself as the entrepreneurial university. This takes place in the form of research, education, and valorisation, which is the application of science in practice. The focus on entrepreneurship resulted in the creation of many spin-off companies through the application of research. It also resulted in the foundation of an expert centre at UT: the Netherlands Institute for Knowledge Intensive Entrepreneurship (NIKOS). In subsequent years, an innovative entrepreneurial climate was created in the region of Twente through collaborations with other universities and regional actors.


Our current society asks for alternative approaches to address social problems. This could be the development of sustainable solutions, the creation of job opportunities, the empowerment of local regions, or the reduction of inequalities. Unfortunately, there are many more pressing social issues that need to be addressed. This brings forward new challenges for researchers. Recently a multidisciplinary team of the University of Twente has begun to combine entrepreneurship research, product development approaches and sustainability principles to address current social issues in deprived regions. This has taken shape in the form of a project we call PC3, which stands for Product Co-Creation Centers. The research we carry out investigates the development of an economically suitable and scalable model to boost the development of the deprived regions by providing people with competences to start-up their own businesses. PC3 offers a specialised program where potential (social) entrepreneurs who need not have technical or business expertise interact with a panel of experts to co-create (innovate) products from an initial idea down to a physical prototype with a business plan. After several years of preparation and research we now can implement the first PC3 pilot in Colombia. Other regions are expected to start soon. Website about our work.


In this symposium we would like to share with you the work we have done and the progress that has been made with regard to the research, education and valorisation of social entrepreneurship. We invite you to engage in a discussion about the current state of social entrepreneurship research and how to use research outcomes as an instrument to address social challenges. We also hope to exchange ideas about the possibilities to bring this field further. We hope to engage people with an interest in social entrepreneurship and build a network that will help all of us to realize our ambitions.


Practical matters: Joyce Jagt

Other matters: Marlies Stuiver


13.30 Welcome with coffee and tea

•14.00 Opening by ir. Kees van Ast,  Vice-President of the Executive Board University of Twente

•14.05 Introduction on the symposium and the topic of social entrepreneurship by prof. dr. Aard Groen, Professor of Innovative Entrepreneurship & Valorisation - University of Twente & University of Groningen

•14.20 Social Entrepreneurship ‘ past, present and future’ by Raja Singaram, specialized university researcher on social entrepreneurship

•14.40 Product Co-Creation Centers (PC3), a practical science based approach for social entrepreneurship development combining product development, sustainability and business development in one concept for the Bottom of the Pyramid by dr. Juan Jauregui Becker and dr. Laura Franco Garcia, researchers at University of Twente

15.00 break

•15.30 A case of applying the PC3 concept in a concrete situation with a substantial group of agricultural entrepreneurs in cacao in Colombia by Monica Ramos, researcher at the University of Twente

•15.50 Network development and the role of volunteer organizations in social entrepreneurship promotion by Caroline de Greeff, director of

•16.10 Interactive session on new ideas and practical approaches for social entrepreneurship development facilitated by Jaap van Tilburg, program manager VentureLab International

•16.40 Final remarks by Jaap van Tilburg and Aard Groen

17.00 Drinks with results interactive session

18.30 End


We hope to see you on May 27th – at the DesignLab – in “The Gallery” – Enschede, The Netherlands.

Register below: