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Museum volunteers as entrepreneurs inside an archaeological open-air museum

Saturday, 1 January, 2011 to Thursday, 31 December, 2015
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Over the last years, the Netherlands has seen an increase of unemployment, also under young professionals. Finding a job is difficult because companies have a hard time obtaining new clients and projects. Therefore, companies primarily hire experienced professionals who can immediately be deployed at client or even bring new clients.
Under these conditions, the Hunebedcentre saw the opportunity and responsibility to provide young professionals with a way to obtain work experience by stimulating entrepreneurship. The museum strives to be a training centre for young professionals to get more work experience and start up their own business. Using the facilities, (regional) contacts and experience of the Hunebedcentre, the young professionals get the opportunity to start-up and grow their own business. After a period of time, they are able to stand alone and operate a successful business.
The start-up businesses mostly provide local services and products like guiding tours, special arrangements, and souvenirs. In this way, these startups provide an inspiring and active culture at the Hunebedcentre but also in the region. At the Hunbedcentre, the young professionals are part of a social network consisting of experienced employees, volunteers, students, and other young professionals. They meet each other and learn from each other. In this way, the social network prevents social isolation and unemployment.
The hunbedcentre has a museumshop, a museumcafe, and organizes many activities and events throughout the year. A problem for the centre is often a lack of labor force. With the help of the young professionals, the Hunbedcentre can provide more activities and services to visitors. Recently, the museumshop has been renewed with forty new museum products and the activities have increased to more than 200 a year.
At the moment, 158 people are working at the Hunebedcentre of which more than a hundred are volunteers and young professionals. In the period 2011-2016, five start-up companies have been founded from this group.