Drop-In, this is talent

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Drop-In, this is talent

Amsterdam, NetherlandsAmsterdam, Netherlands
Organization type: 
for profit
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Connecting (higher education) dropouts who have talent and ambition with businesses who want to hire more than a person with a degree.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Dropouts (people without a diploma or a gap in their resume) don't get a chance when applying for a job. There are many other applicants with the 'right' credentials that will be preferred over the dropouts. Even if the dropout is perfectly qualified to do the job, fits the company culture and is extremely motivated to start working.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Drop-In coaches and supports (higher education) dropouts. We bring together dropouts who are talented and ambitious with businesses who want to work with people who have specific character and drive. Because the employment market is saturated with university degrees, employers don't necessarily know who they are hiring because a degree doesn't say much these days. At Drop-In we coach dropouts and provide them with the experience and confidence they need to get a job they are passionate about. We provide workshops for businesses to create an environment where employees are empowered to take responsibility for their work and career goals. We act as a connector for the dropouts and businesses. We aim to find the perfect match for both the dropout and the business, so that each can prosper. Our vision is to shift the mindset in the world about what makes a great employee. That it is not solely your credentials, it is about your drive, ambitions and intrinsic motivation.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are initiatives that connect to the field we are operating in, but don't do the same as we're doing. Our USP is that we specifically aim to support dropouts, and connect them to the business world based on their talents and motivations. No other initiative does this! Others help dropouts back to school to get a degree, or unemployed people start up again by coaching on how to write good letters or what to say in a job interview. There are also businesses that help companies change their culture or be more socially involved. In the current employment market, where the babyboomers are going to retire soon, companies will need new employees and new ways to see if a person fits with the company. Next to that, degrees or diplomas are depreciating. We connect the 2 worlds.
About You
Background Information
First Name


Last Name


The competition is only open to people between 18-34 years-old and resident in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands. Does this apply to you


Country of residence of entrepreneur

The Netherlands

Tell us about your personal background. Why are you passionate about this issue? Making an idea a reality takes innovation, dedication and strong leadership. Do you have the necessary entrepreneurial skills to realize your vision?

I am an Occupational Therapist who turned Health Care advisor and had a career in that field for 9 years. I didn't like my work anymore because of the bureaucracy and limitations for really making a difference in peoples lives. I quit my job to follow my dream of starting my own business. Before starting I decided to learn more about social entrepreneurship, and went to a 1 year program at Knowmads. A new school and platform for creative entrepreneurial people who want to make a difference in the world. In this year I learned how to do business through real life projects for companies and as students we had set up a cooperative to earn money with the projects. The biggest lessons during my Knowmads year were on personal development and group dynamics, because we did everything together and created our own education.
Inspired, connected and energized I set out to found my own company, together with a partner.
Drop-In came about because we were wondering what happens to people who drop out. Drop out of school, drop out of work, drop out of following their dreams. I myself feel like a dropout after quiting a career that went very well, and started all over. Turns out there are many initiatives for bringing people back to school to get a diploma, or helping people find a job, but nothing to start from their passions, dreams, talent and ambitions. We want to connect these people to work and new possibilities starting from their intrinsic motivations.

About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Country

, NH, Amsterdam

Country where this project is creating social impact

, NH, Amsterdam

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The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities

Drop-In works with dropouts from university, people who haven't been in the workforce for a while because of children, injury/illness, etc, and those who aren't working in the field of their dreams and coaches them to help them live the life they love. Instead of the dropout taking any old job just to pay the bills and support themselves, we coach the dropout (after they come to us, we call them drop-ins) first on discovering her talents and motivations. Then coaching in writing a personal bio (not a standard letter and resume) that really reflects this persons character.
After that we start contacting businesses the drop-in is interested in, together with the drop-in, to see if she can present herself there.
This way the drop-in feels confident and can represent herself in the best possible way, instead of having to compete with applicants for job openings. The business gets the chance to get to know a potential employee on a different level.

Through projects that are provided by businesses the drop-ins gain experience and the companies get to interact up close and personal with potential new employees. Another benefit for the company is that they get different strategies/ solutions for problems that they are dealing with in their line of work.

Select the stage that best applies to your business

Operating for 1-5 years

Social Impact
What is the social impact you have had to date and how you measure it?

So far we coached several drop-ins and supported them in becoming aware of what they really want to do with their lives or in their work. This resulted in placements with companies where the drop-in could have an impact and learn at the same time.
Next to that we participated in a project in a major higher education school in the Netherlands, building the identity and community of the school together with the management, lecturers & staff and the students. This created a lot of awareness in the school that just getting the grades or the diploma isn't enough. It is about the network and about the experiences people share.

What barriers might hinder the success of your business? How do you plan to overcome them?

Creating our network has been the biggest barrier to overcome. We are working on marketing strategies. We also don't want to look like we are influencing students to dropout of school. Having a specific strategy, story, and persona to broadcast to the world about our target group and who we help is one strategy to overcome this barrier. Another possible barrier is that our drop-ins don't deliver to the businesses we connect them to and we start to develop a certain reputation and vice verse with the businesses. We plan on having a set criteria for businesses and drop-ins as well as acquiring constant feedback and references.

How does your model address financial, social, and environmental sustainability?

The Drop-In business model consists of coaching drop-ins who will pay for our services. We address here that drop-ins don't have a lot of disposable income but since they are ambitious enough they want to invest in their future so they won't go out one weekend in order to pay for coaching. Businesses pay a placement fee for drop-ins who are hired and we also receive income from businesses when we give workshops on shifting paradigms in their workplace.
Drop-In addresses social sustainability by supporting people who can't find the help they are looking for in the world. We give people the possibility to live the life they want to live. When people are happy with their work life they are happier in life and treat their family and neighbors with kindness. It's the ripple effect. The better you are as a person, the better your family, the better your neighborhood, the better your city, the better your country, the better the world.
As for being environmentally sustainable, since we are a service it is harder to track our environmental footstep. We do care wildly about the environment so all the decisions that involve the environment will be made consciously and for the benefit of our world. We don't have an office, we use public spaces as cafés or work areas in libraries or our living room to work or meet with people.

Awareness & learning
How do you see social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries?

Drop-In sees social entrepreneurship contributing to the improvement of developing countries by building sustainable communities and empowering people to take initiative and have ownership for a project. It's about taking what's already there and building something better to improve the entire community so everyone can prosper and truly enjoy life. Let's be honest here, we don't want developing countries to turn out like the developed countries.

We even think that the sense of community and social cohesion that is apparent in developing countries can teach and contribute to creating more awareness and understanding in the businesses in the developed world.

What aspects of your stay in Uganda as part of the competition do you think you will find most challenging and rewarding?

Most challenging will probably be seeing the difference in life standards and how creative and entrepreneurial people have to be to survive. This creativity and entrepreneurship will at the same time be the most inspiring and rewarding aspect.
Experiencing a completely different type of culture (we've never been outside a western culture) will be an inspiration on its own!