About Ondernemers van Nu (Today's Entrepreneurs)
Ondernemers van Nu are Dutch SMEs that aim at accelerating the transition towards the new (sustainable/circular) economy while conducting their businesses. For a clean and fair entrepreneurial environment. These innovative entrepreneurs think in terms of 'better' instead of just 'more' production, profit making or trade. Ondernemers van Nu demand economic policies, which facilitate the new economic paradigm: an economy that is sustainable, equitable and in which people and planet are no longer of less value than making profit.
Ondernemers van Nu launched the campaign ‘For sensible trade’. This campaign gives a voice to entrepreneurs in the Dutch and European public debates about trade negotiations like Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT), TTIP and CETA.
The negotiations about the free trade treaty between Europe and the United States seem to have halted. Time for a new direction?! The business community has been relatively quiet on this topic. CETA (the EU-Canada Free Trade Treaty) and TTIP will have a substantial impact on the Dutch business landscape. Entrepreneurs are often presented as the main beneficiaries of free trade. But how do SMEs experience this? Today’s Entrepreneurs aim to inform entrepreneurs in The Netherlands about these trade treaties and to survey the expectations by SMEs via a survey by Motivaction. Entrepreneurs’ concerns and alternatives will be voiced to policy makers in The Hague. With the Trade Caravan, Today’s Entrepreneurs will hit the campaign trail and visit business centers, political events, public manifestations and events for entrepreneurs in order to inform and mobilise entrepreneurs.
With our typically Dutch mobile office space, solar-paneled and self-sustainable, Ondernemers van Nu will visit business centers and entrepreneurial events throughout the country to inform entrepreneurs about the trade agreements, meanwhile assessing entrepreneurial needs we can present to policy makers.
Another tool to inform entrepreneurs about trade agreements and assess their needs is via a survey which was launched in January. Motivaction is a renowned research company that implemented the European-wide survey. The results for SMEs in The Netherlands can be found here. Although one out of three SMEs expects that TTIP and CETA would benefit their companies, two out of three exporting SMEs are concerned that foreign companies will benifit more and that the government's capacity to regulate will be impaired due to the investment arbitration in the current (draft) trade treaties.
Ondernemers van Nu aims to develop a platform on which entrepreneurs can jointly campaign for their policy needs regarding governmental facilitation of the transition to a new economy in which clean production and transportation are supported over polluting forms, and in which sharing, re-use, recycling and fair distribution of welfare is promoted. Therefore we’ll continue to present entrepreneurs and their demands to policy makers and to the wider public through our photo and video campaign.
Ondernemers van Nu was founded in 2015 by entrepreneurs Thomas van de Beek and Joost van Beek. The “For Sensible Trade” campaign is managed by a Steering Group of entrepreneurs and implemented by the Campaign Team lead by Marieke van Doorn (Campaign Manager, lobby & advocacy), Jeroen van Baren (webdesign and communications), Sophie de Vos (photography) and Dagmar Grote (Community manager). .