The city of The Hague supports Social Benefit Recipients to start their own business

October 29, 2016

On October 15th 2016, The Municipality of The Hague launched a Pilot Project which aims at supporting 100 social benefit recipients to start their own business within a period of 1 year. Usually, social benefits recipients lose their benefits if they have alternative income, however small. This project seeks to support beneficiaries over a period without them losing the benefit.

Simply, this pilot will enable both the Municipality, different stakeholders and the beneficiaries to explore innovative approaches to assisting Start-Up within the Participation Act.

The Participation Act, as it is today, social benefit recipients are faced with numerous challenges that limits their possibilities to work on their business ideas. Here, this is not only financial limitations but also time constraints. To maintain their Social Benefits, recipients must either register for volunteer work, attend regularly appointments with their contact person at the municipality or follow an internship. While this might most of the time not lead to any job opportunity, it takes away the most valuable asset of any entrepreneur, TIME.

This important major step was made possible through different initiatives in the City from organisations and citizens that had approached the Alderman Rabin Baldewsingh with different propositions to create an enabling environment for the mentioned Start-Ups.

Cooperative Arbre a Palabre U.A is among the initiatives that were officially admitted to be part of the Pilot. The Cooperative is an African Migrant Women leaded Cooperative that was created on October 19th, 2015. Within the Cooperative they will use each other’s talent and network to build their businesses. The role of Women’s Initiatives Network is to provide the guidance and advise and support.

Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) welcomes this Pilot Project and is expectant that it will be successful, leading to more social benefit recipients exiting the unemployment trap.

WIN hopes that by the end of the pilot period, government and stakeholders would have learnt lessons in creating new jobs.

The Pilot Project will be evaluated at the end of 2017 and the Municipality hopes that this period will be beneficial for the start-ups to become successful businesses.

While this is a Pilot, Women’s Initiatives Network wishes to invite the different stakeholders involved to remember that this is an important moment for so many people, for the families that have to wake up every day wondering about that next day…this is our moment and movement!

Together let us make this Pilot a success.

WIN hopes to soon secure a location to accommodate our future women entrepreneurs and their Start-Ups as announced at the launching ceremony of the Pilot Project.

For more information about the initiative, please send us an email at

The Board

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