The aim is to reduce the waste of talents of people with (any kind of) disability and help them in finding long-term and purposeful employment.
People with disabilities (physical, mental or psychological) have troubles in finding sustainable and long-term paid jobs in the Netherlands. The Dutch Participation Act aims to create an inclusive labour market. This should reduce the unnecessary use of social security and it should improve the confidence and the self-development of individuals. Practice shows that employers are willing to take their responsibility in this matter. A match point for entrepreneurs and people with disabilities is established. The social work companies and local governments lead the target group to the match point where they are matched to entrepreneurs. Both the entrepreneurs and target group are helped to achieve a good, well prepared start together.
The beneficiaries are: social work companies, local government, entrepreneurs and the target group. The social work companies are in this way able to reinvent and rebrand themselves. Individually they struggle in acquiring new business to fulfil the needs of their clients. Local government benefits as there will be a reduction in the use of social security budget and an increase in (more) resilient workers. The entrepreneurs benefit as there a lack of people to fulfil low-educated positions. The target group benefits to take part in and contribute to society, which will lead to an increase in positive perception of their quality of life.

Resources needed

Partners bring in finance and human resources in kind and cash for the match point and related services. At this moment 10 persons have been placed at a regular entrepreneur via the full matching system. Additionally, the Waste Factory where the initiative was based on placed 25 people to work.

Evidence of success

The methodology of Wasted Talent is based upon experiences of the Wastefactory. This factory is a successful implemented example of a social and purpose driven business, that works with 75% of employees of the target group in producing soups to prevent the waste of vegetables in the food chain. Next step is to develop a method to monitor the exact impact of good examples as the Wastefactory. Therefor a first draft of a Theory of Change is being developed together with impactindicators.

Difficulties encountered

Main difficulty was to ensure that all partners invest in the programme to achieve shared goals and create collective impact. This innovation is not in line with short term goals of partners. This leads to friction costs for some partners. This slows down the process and requires new approaches.

Potential for learning or transfer

Starting point are entrepreneurs who not only strive for profit, but also social value. The approach may not be easy transferable in more top down systems, but it will be inspiring for policy makers everywhere to reach more social, ecological and economic integrated policy.
The purpose driven, bottom up approach of social entrepreneurs is transferable as a solution for a new to be created ecosystem to achieve a purposeful life for everybody. Wasted Talent shows that entrepreneurs are able to tackle societal challenges when stimulated and enabled by several partners who learn and work together to achieve an inclusive society.
The target group can be found in every region and represents a big potential for the workforce. The process of connecting stakeholders that Wasted Talent has done is interesting for all regions. Stakeholders are invited to collaborate and learn how to achieve a shared impact in a concrete practice. This learning approach can be transferred.
Main institution
Verspild Talent
Other, Afghanistan
Start Date
September 2016
End Date


Astrid Kaag Please login to contact the author.