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On 15 November 2019 the festive NBCC SME Lunch was held at the ABN AMRO UK. We were pleased to have so many inspirational companies. The purpose of this event was to celebrate the contribution of small and medium size entreprises to the private sector both in the UK and the Netherlands on the occasion of the “Dag van de Ondernemer”. SMEs are important for both the UK & NL economy as they create growth, jobs and prosperity. In both countries the majority of companies are SMEs and contribute about 70% of jobs in the private sector.

Around the world, the so-called Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) has been held. This is so every November, for one week, with 10 million people involved, in 170+ countries, to celebrate entrepreneurship. MKB (SME) – Nederlandand NLinBusiness are part of the GEW network and proclaimed the third Friday of November as the “Day of the Entrepreneur” (Dag van de Ondernemer: DVDO).

SMEs are important for both the UK & NL economy. In both countries the majority of companies are SMEs and contribute about 70% of jobs in the private sector.

Following the opening remarks of NBCC Board member, Andrew Wood, the attendees watched the inspirational message of Tony’s Chocolonely about their commitment to eradicate slavery in the production of chocolate and their supply chains. 

During the lunch, inspiring speeches were given by Ace & Tate, Van den Berk Nurseries and Tony’s Chocolonely on the importance of having purpose beyond profit since an organization’s purpose since it is central to business success.

Marlot Kiveron of Ace & Tate for example gave an inspiring speech, challenging that scaling up and sustainability cannot together: their growth has stimulated its sustainability efforts & driven down costs of using sustainable materials. Addresses of Ace & Tate London: 10 Earlham Street | WC2H 9LN London, 15 Brewer Street | W1F 0RJ London and 27 Hanbury Street | E1 6QR London.

The following seven short listed companies were determined on the basis of research from twenty candidates: Ace & Tate, Big Group, Equinox Kombucha, HISBE Supermarket Rebels, Van den Berk Tree Nurseries, Van Moof and Stroodles. As the saying goes: “One does not plant a tree for oneself, one does so for prosperity, humanity/society”, and given their inspiring contribution to bringing the economy to a higher level, the NBCC SME Award 2019 went to: Van Den Berk Tree Nurseries!

Van den Berk Nurseries specialises in the cultivation of avenue trees, conifers, shaped trees, rhododendrons and specimen trees and shrubs. Their extensive assortment consists of 1600 species and cultivars and they grow various trees and shrubs to sizes ranging from medium to extremely large. With the third generation now at the helm, this family business is literally and metaphorically firmly rooted in the fertile soils of Central Brabant. In 2015 they celebrated their 75th anniversary and production currently stretch across about 450 hectares. Their customers include governments, project developers, amusement parks, golf courses, greenery contractors and horticulturalists both in the UK and the Netherlands.

A big thank you to the jury: Edwin Welman from ABN AMRO N.V., Rob Janering from Accordance, Mark Lamb from BDO UK LLP and Jan-Willem Thoen from PwC and to NLinBusiness, JZ Flowers and Tony’s Chocolonely. Last but not least, we are especially grateful to Edwin Welman from ABN AMRO for hosting this lunch at their wonderful venue. We can look back upon a festive and inspirational lunch!