For our field research, we decided that we would like to cover as many aspects of entrepreneurship as we can, because it is quite difficult to get a good insight in the local business while not being actually present at Texel. For this reason, we address similar questions as those which we have addressed in our report and which we already looked through by gathering the written data. However, now our focus will be more from more local side. Obviously, visiting a local company is a logical step in order to get some inside information on what local entrepreneurs think about Texel and sustainability and the (perceived) desire to become self sufficient in 2065. Furthermore, we stressed the importance of having a good network/platform to support entrepreneurs and to stimulate sustainability.
Currently, there are several initiatives present in Texel, such as TOP Texel or JONT, that help local entrepreneurs to exchange their knowledge, to network and to form a strong position as one collaboration that shares mutual benefits. The agriculture market is slightly separated from these, having its own institution called LTO Noord afdeling Texel, which is however in close communication with the previously mentioned initiatives. Moreover, some other initiatives are focused on new sustainable ideas and innovative solutions, for example TexLabs and Stichting Duurzaam Texel, whom often award the best sustainability ideas. There are also several small initiatives on Texel that head in the direction of self-sufficiency, such as De Zelfpluktuin. We aim to get insights into such organisations by getting to understand their drivers, and their encountered pitfalls and obstacles for doing business. This will help us to become more familiar with the current and possible future entrepreneurial trends going on on Texel.
We have defined several research questions for the field research at Texel:
- What is the current awareness and interest of established as well as young entrepreneurs on Texel in sustainability and self-sufficiency?
- How do the already established platforms help the entrepreneurs to network, share knowledge and how do they lead them towards establishing sustainable businesses (if such a thing is done)?
- What are the obstacles of starting new (sustainable) businesses and in transforming the already existing ones towards sustainable businesses?
methods of gathering data
Several interviews and company visits will take place. We decided to visit and interview several interesting initiatives / companies taking place in Texel, most of them already mentioned in the first paragraph. Here’s a brief description of these parties as well as the information we aim to gather through the interviews:
TOP (Texels Ondernemers Platform) is the Texel entrepreneurs platform and consists of ten different sections, each with their own section board. The chairmen of these boards are the central management. TOP members represent the interests of the Texel entrepreneurs, led by the manager of TOP. The manager will discuss the status of current issues during board meetings with the TOP management. TOP is involved in several organizations and consult as representatives for them, asking its members for advice through community programs. Together they devise solutions to problems that are encountered by a large group of entrepreneurs. Furthermore, they advise the municipality through TOP’s member manager, about policies and visions. There are currently 854 Texel entrepreneurs in the TOP Texel database. By interviewing a representative from TOP Texel, we would like to find out the platform’s vision regarding entrepreneurship and whether sustainability is something that is on their agenda or not.
JONT (Jonge Ondernemers Netwerk Texel) similarly as TOP Texel function as a helping hand for young entrepreneurs (age under 35), an incubator for exchanging entrepreneurial and start-up experiences and ideas and to create networks. As a starting entrepreneur is surrounded by big amount of insecurity and lack of knowledge, JONT helps to overcome these obstacles by facilitating the feedback loop among entrepreneurs in Texel. During the interview with the board member of the JONT we aim to deepen our knowledge in new (sustainable) initiatives starting in Texel, the financial and social aid that is given to them in their starting phase, how successful and used the platform is among entrepreneurs and what is the interest of these young entrepreneurs in sustainability and self-sufficiency.
De Zelfpluktuin exists since 1994 and is based on a very simple concept: for a small fee, you can pick your own flowers, vegetables and fruits in a big garden that is maintained by the owner. As a small entrepreneur business, De Zelfpluktuin is a member of both TOP Texel as well as JONT. By interviewing the owners of this small business, we would like to find out what their expectations are (or were, when they decided to sign up) regarding both platforms, whether they are satisfied by the interactions so far and/or whether they feel that improvements could be made in that regard. Moreover what are the obstacles of starting new (sustainable) business in Texel.
details of the planned activities
Interview on 12.1.2016 at 13:00, Oudeschild : Jacco Boersen
- member of JONT and TOP Texel
- co-founder of De Zelfpluktuin
- former TU Delft student of Industrial Design
Interview on 12.1.2016 at 15:00, De Koog: Arjen van Diepen
- chairman of the Retail section of TOP Texel
- former member of the TOP Texel Board 2015
- owner of Jumbo Den Burg and Jumbo De Koog