Leading Dutch companies step up in support of refugees

With more than 100,000 refugees residing in the Netherlands, there is a need and an opportunity for Dutch businesses to support refugees and help them to integrate economically. Recognizing this, Tent co-hosted the first-ever Dutch Business Summit on Refugees on April 8, 2019 in partnership with Unilever, Rabobank and Accenture. At the summit, 16 large Dutch employers stepped forward to make public announcements about their plans to support refugees in the Netherlands and overseas.

At the start of the program, Rabobank CEO Wiebe Draijer said that the day would be about companies making a “genuine commitment to create space, to create jobs, to provide real access” for refugees. To that end, impassioned business leaders from leading brands such as ING, Hilton, Shell and Phillips took to the stage to announce their company’s plans to act on the refugee crisis. In aggregate, the commitments generated at the summit will create jobs for over 3,500 refugees and improve access to services for 10,000 refugees.

Jeroen Zwinkels, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup (Netherlands) – one of the world’s largest staffing agencies – announced plans to help 250 refugees find sustainable employment. He said, “We believe meaningful and sustainable employment has the power to change the world. Everybody has the fundamental right to participate in the labor market and it is our mission to support people to get access to work, contribute and achieve their full potential.”

From left: Paul Polman, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever, Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent Partnership for Refugees, and Wiebe Draijer, CEO of Rabobank meet at the Dutch Business Summit on Refugees

In a panel conversation about the role that businesses can play in supporting refugees, Paul Polman, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce and former CEO of Unilever, echoed the sentiments of many of the day’s speakers, asserting that, ‘This is the moral agenda of big business, (it’s) separate from politics’.

To learn more about the Dutch Business Summit and the commitments made that day, head to the full press release at the link below.

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