Never underestimate the power of food: it’s a way of connecting. Dutch start-up Thuisafgehaald agrees with this and believes in abundance, not in scarcity. For that reason, the platform was established to encourage and connect people to start sharing their meals – and enjoy all the benefits that come along with it. The dedicated people behind this social initiative want to emphasize the social heart of food again. Their community is the central element. The platform always aligns with the needs and wishes of its users. That’s how you can multiply by sharing something: founder and initiator Marieke Hart is telling us about the impact and goals of this initiative.
The power of sharing
In creating great value, most initiatives start up small. Thuisafgehaald brings people together to share their meals. An initiative with a social core, contributing to a sustainable economy at the same time. According to Marieke, Thuisafgehaald isn’t necessarily communicating their role in ‘the bigger picture’. “It is really the food that’s central. And that’s what appeals to our users”. The main goal is not to convince users of the value of the sharing economy, but to let them experience it. That’s how a simple activity like sharing a meal with your neighbour can already be eye-opening.
The main goal is not to convince users of the big value of the sharing economy: but to let them experience it
Nowadays, almost every need can be full-filled and almost every brand can deliver on-demand. A home-delivered meal is only a few clicks away. And great comfort comes along with this. The social sharing variants of this, may be even better, but take slightly more effort. The possible restraint that people experience, is because they’re not (yet) familiar with the concept. Even though they’re enthusiastic about it. “We experience that this has a lot to do with trust. One successful meeting between users is all it takes to show the true value of this concept and the community benefits”.
A sincere food movement
The majority of users is making specific use of the platform and this creates many sustainable relationships. Whether it’s a weekly meal of your favourite home-chef or a monthly meeting with a neighbour, that could use some extra help. Users create their own satisfaction out of it. The platform offers its users something to draw value from. A starting point from where users start helping or supporting each other, while the feelings of trust within neighbourhoods are growing.
Whether it’s a regular chef’s meal or helping a neighbour in need: users create their own satisfaction out of our platform
Without even noticing it, people can be convinced of this concept and the massive value it can create. One step at a time, they start creating both social and sustainable impact. “By means of small steps, users can be convinced of their own ‘improved behaviour’. Once they get started, they’ll become more aware and sensitive for this topic, and everything that’s related to it”. By offering a new, social and sustainable experience, people are hopefully starting to undertake these small steps. That’s how close to 86,000 meals were shared in only last year!
Building blocks for a social economy
The image of the sharing economy in the current world is being dominated by big and well-known social platforms. Think about Uber and Airbnb, that are mentioned as the biggest examples of this era. “We hope consumers can make proper distinctions when it comes to different initiatives. People are getting increasingly critical, especially given the current developments at for example Uber. That’s not the attitude that we’re looking for”.
As social enterprise, they know that they’re contributing to a bigger social impact in the end. For users, it’s all about getting on board and start experiencing it – whether you connect this to the bigger picture or not. The ‘why’ of Thuisafgehaald stays the same: sharing small elements of happiness, to contribute to a better world. In the future they’ll work on this by optimizing their tools and platform. That’s how the enterprise wants to realize growth, facilitate even more people and connect more buddies in the coming years.
From idea to impact
As founder, Marieke Hart aims to create real value. The social entrepreneurs behind the initiative, want to actually contribute to society. “Make it a more social and a more sustainable common place”. To achieve this, they follow the passion, needs and energy of their users. “Our most valuable advice for other entrepreneurs? You can only test your assumptions in the real world. Dare to share your ideas with the world and discover opportunities for valuable partnerships.” We are curious what the growing enthusiasm will bring this impact creator in the near future. What’s clear is that potential food waste can be turned into social support and sustainable impact. As long as you’re convinced of the impact potential it carries along.
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