Abhijit Bhattacharya / Roy Jakobs / Kees Wesdorp / Marnix van Ginneken/ Bert van Meurs / Daniela Seabrook / Jonathan Seabrook / Jeroen Tas
…for visiting us. Our employees thought it was a very inspiring visit and loved to connect with you in a conversation. We will definitely reach out to you for strategy and other support.
Philips Foundation supports de Mondmaskerfabriek
In the current crisis, masks are badly needed throughout the Netherlands. In order not to be dependent on factories on the other side of the world, with the support of Philips Foundation and Qredits, we quickly started to set up the first Dutch face mask factory. In March 2020, entrepreneurs Jaap Stelwagen, Fleur Bakker, Johan Blom, Naz Kawan and Merthus Bezemer set up the Mondmaskerfabriek from the network of Refugee Company. With courage, decisiveness, and a good network, we managed to achieve a lot in a very short time.
As you can imagine, setting up a mask factory has its challenges. We managed to get four production machines from China. We recruited 23 employees with a refugee background (work experience was not required, but enthusiasm and motivation were much appreciated!). The Mondmaskerfabriek is a social enterprise and affiliated with the foundation Refugee Company. Refugee Company’s mission is to support people who have a refugee background. Employment is the best way to integrate into society. Refugee Company raises funds to provide learning programs for refugees. These re-start programs last from six months to a maximum of three years and are carried out by our social enterprises, A Beautiful Mess and from now on, also the Mondmaskerfabriek. People get moving, gain experience, and build a network. The programs also offer support in the areas of language, integration, personal development, and well-being.
One-liners from the strategy session
- The facemask need is temporary, the social model is the core, the people is your product.
- Customers first. Don’t focus to much on wholesalers, make sure the end consumer loves you.
- Now it is facemasks but it can be completely other products as long as we do it with our mission.
- Pride! Being proud of what you make is extremely important. Make marketable visual products, preferable sustainable.
- Embed the team in the whole organization, the leadership must be diverse.
- Make someone like Franklin your spokesperson.
- Make sure you never lose your story out of sight.
- Stay away from the big consultancy firms because than you lose your credibility as a social enterprise and you become a normal company.
- Factory as a service & sell your social production model as a product.
- Dragons Den with the employees, involve them in solutions for your challenges.
- If you scale up, you end up into a completely different vibe. We want to organize it in cells, small self-supportive teams.
- If we go back to work, please follow up on us, we want to support.
- Maybe you end up offering nurses in the care industry?
- Be the first to develop a sustainable facemask.
Who offered support in what?
- Daniela – wants to support designing our organization model
- Bert, Kees – Best, workforce as a service, Refugee Company/ Re-start programma brainstorm on how imbedding it into an existing factory
- Roy, Bert, Kees – search for 4-5 new products, how to become a credible company in a highly regulated medical market
- Jeroen – strategy/ story, make a movie with Razan and I will promote it to all the hospitals
- Jonathan – volunteering in communication
Quote from Milad, one of our employees
“What I thought Philips was only about televisions and I was questioning if they would survive as a company. But they do amazing things in the medical world.”
Jawed Shapour, Milad Dowlatkhah, Shiraz Khalil, Luka Kuijpers, Franklin Yotchou, Bram de Vrught, Daan Jellema, Menno Bol, Denise Pieterse, Peter-Paul de Jong, Jaap Stelwagen, Merthus Bezemer and Fleur Bakker all on behalf of Mondmaskerfabriek