Spotlight: Jacquelien Bunt

jacquelien

What drives you?

My career has always been about doing things I like and challenging myself into new areas… And by doing that, I can help people make a better life for themselves, which makes it even better.

Biggest #SocEnt trend in the last 5 years?

Social Enterprise has definitely become “hot” in the last five years. Now we have the challenge of upscaling from “projects” and “pilots” to viable businesses and making sure that the fact that we are “social” is not what sets us apart because being social is the norm.

Currently reading:

  • Professionally – Happy Profit by Herman Toch
  • Personally – Amsterdam. A History of the World’s Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto.

Background

With a background in industrial engineering, Jacquelien worked in telecommunications in the Netherlands and Asia before setting up her first social venture that was aimed towards providing job opportunities to Vietnamese school dropouts. Jacquelien says “I couldn’t really get my foot in the market and thus wasn’t contributing to the changes I hoped to see.  So I decided to work on other projects such as micro-finance and then joined dance4life where I could help to bring about change. When I learned about Discovered, I was interested because it coupled my passion for using business as a way of enabling people to improve their lives with my love of handmade products and the experiences I had as a project manager.” From her experience at discovered, I ask what her advice is for other social entrepreneurs: ”Make sure that you do it. Having a theory of change is fine, but there is also a rough reality. Don’t be a perfectionist, roll your sleeves up and start doing! It always gets you somewhere. And remember, it is always easy for others to point out what you are not doing. Don’t listen to the cynics.”

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