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Record number of visitors at sold-out seventh edition of ImpactFest

16 November 2022

Press Release

2,000 impact makers from 42 countries from all over the world came to the Fokker Terminal in The Hague today, spread out over the day, for the seventh edition of ImpactFest. As a result, the focus on innovative and sustainable entrepreneurship proved to be greater than ever: never before were so many visitors there to present their solutions, pitch for investors, exchange experiences and gain knowledge.

It was a varied program involving leading organizations. The main stage featured diverse speakers, including Geertje Zeegers of Too Good to Go, Carol Gribnau of the DOEN Foundation, Rowan Barnett of Google, Geert van de Veer of Caring Farmers and Berend Potjer, deputy of the Province of South Holland. Several impact investors also pitched, including Draper Richard Kaplan Foundation, Business Angels Netwerken Nederland and 4impact. In addition, the program consisted of meetups and roundtable discussions hosted by Patagonia, Oxfam Novib and Rabobank, among others.

Impact companies worth $2.3 billion worldwide

Dealroom together with ImpactCity presented the report “Impact Startups 2022.” This report provides insight into investment and jobs in the impact sector. The report shows that impact companies worldwide are now worth more than $2.3 billion. The number of investments in impact companies continues to grow: in 2022 there is not as much invested as in the record year 2021, but the amounts of the full calendar year 2020 are already exceeded. The province of South Holland has the highest concentration of jobs in impact startups compared to other provinces in the Netherlands.

Social enterprises are proving resilient

The European Social Enterprise Monitor (ESEM) was launched at ImpactFest. The ESEM 2021-2022 report is the result of European research on social entrepreneurship in 21 countries. There appears to be a great need for this report because there is still little data available on social enterprises.

The research shows how resilient social enterprises are: 44% of social enterprises have increased revenues and staff despite the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, management teams of social enterprises comprise an average of 56% women, and 38% of social enterprises employ people with significant distance from the labor market. Read more about the survey here.

Three startups to keep an eye on

During the opening of ImpactFest, the winners of the Haagse Vernieuwers challenge were announced. This challenges startups and scaleups to solve social issues. With winners from previous editions such as Naïf Care, Seepje and North Sea Farmers, the Haagse Vernieuwers is now an established challenge in The Hague. The 2022 winners are Weco (electricity production using the ocean), Beesage (data-driven beekeeping) and Reprex (reliable big data).

Exciting battle between startups in the boxing ring

ImpactFest concluded with the European finals of the Get in The Ring Impact Competition. The competition, set up by Unknown Group and ImpactCity, has six national finals from which the 20 winners will compete with each other during the European final in The Hague.

From these 20 startups, four startups were chosen yesterday to compete against each other during the grand finale at ImpactFest. In a packed Fokker Terminal, the four finalists Sibö, CyanoCapture, CELLUGY and Aquacycl engaged in a verbal battle against each other in a real boxing ring. After an exciting battle, CyanoCapture and Aquacycl emerged victorious.

About ImpactCity and ImpactFest

ImpactCity is one of Europe’s leading ecosystems for organizations that combine “doing good and doing business. With ImpactCity, the Municipality of The Hague facilitates entrepreneurs and other impact makers with innovative solutions in starting and scaling up their businesses.

ImpactFest started in 2016 as an annual event where the ImpactCity ecosystem can meet in a casual festival atmosphere. It has grown into an international “must-attend” event in the world of impact.

Initiator ImpactCity organizes the event together with the Municipality of The Hague, Unknown Group and KplusV. ImpactFest is made possible by the Province of South Holland, Rabobank, Stichting Doen and Oxfam Novib and takes place at the Fokker Terminal.

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