Student - June 18, 2009

VHL STUDENTS LAUNCH MINI-COMPANIES

From edible flower to a citizenship class by bike or a tasty-and-healthy juice – all these products were on display at the business fair for VHL students on 11 June. Students following a course in Entrepreneurship had to launch a business in groups, writing a business plan and organizing promotional activities.

More beauty, less mess: Double Dutch’s lily attracts interest.
Fifteen groups displayed their wares at the fair and competed for various prizes. The Rabobank Profit award went to ProCover which had developed breathable covers for horse trailers so that they would not rust in the winter when they are not in use. There is a massive market for such covers in Germany. In terms of profit, two other plant companies stood out. One was Diplantec, which introduced the climbing plant Dipladenia on the Dutch market and sold all thousand plants to a trader on the auction floor. And Double Dutch did market research on the introduction of the wonderfully fragrant double lily. This flower has many petals, little pollen and a longer vase life, the students claim. They are already for sale in small, excusive flower shops in and around Wageningen. There is a big potential market in Eastern Europe, where the rich are willing to pay a lot for luxury flowers.

The ENviu Planet award went to Indian Chres, who sold spicy edible plants that are also decorative on the window sill. The students of Sapfabriek were also aiming for this prize. They had worked with an existing factory to improve a juice called Boost your Body by making it as natural as possible. They raised a lot of laughs with an idea they called Boost your Granny – a juice with extra vitamins for the elderly, which is not yet in production.

Last but not least, the VHL People award went to Boerenwijsheid, a group that developed a three-stage course for improving city children’s image of the countryside. A class discussion was followed by a visit to a farm, during which the children could bring sheep to another meadow and taste fresh milk. Back in the classroom, this was followed up with a quiz.

Another nice business in the ‘people’ category was HIP, a Holland integration programme. This was a tour of the Wageningen landscape, to form part of the ‘integration’ course followed by immigrants to the Netherlands.

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