NICE in the press

Nice Dutch in the race for prestigious U.S. prize by Petra Crown The Unreasonable Institute is a prestigious American initiative that brings together 25 social entrepreneurs from around the world for six weeks every year. The aim is to give a boost to new businesses through training, mentoring, legal advice, prototyping, pitches to investors etc. The Unreasonable Institute has asked a big group of topleaders from the U.S. and international business. From hundreds of entries from over 60 countries, 45 finalists were chosen. One of them is the Dutch Nice, the only and the first Dutch company that has entered into the final. NICE is a social venture that is developing a franchise chain of ICT centers for solar energy in Africa. This NICE centers offer local people easy access to energy, ICT, Internet and related services such as education. NICE thus offers an important contribution to personal and economic development. Reason enough to call Ties Kroezen, director of Nice. You must be proud: To be chosen in the last 45 finalists as the only Dutch social enterprise. Yes, I am certainly proud. It is an honor to be selected from hundreds of projects around the world. Apparently, our mission and the results we have already booked made an impression. What kind of other companies participated? It is very diverse. It starts with an employment agency for people in America to a sustainable training school for girls in Pakistan to a maker of cheap cars to Africa. On the website you can see all finalists. How did you find the Unreasonable Institute? I had contact with Enviu. They are network partner of the Unreasonable Institute. What did you have do to get this far? We first had to answer a few questions about NICE and about myself on a website. Than I was interviewed by telephone by people of the Unreasonable Institute and now we are finalist. What was the reason that the Nice Unreasonable Institute has been admitted to the final round? I think this is because of what we do, our potential to upscale and because we have a proven concept. The impact of Internet access and energy provision to the social and economic development in Africa is enormous. Over the next four years we will establish 50 new NICE centers with which the economy will in the countries will grow to about 100 million. We have the ambition to reach one million people in Africa with 250 NICE centers by 2020. And we demonstrated in Gambia that our concept offers great value for local people and is financially profitable. What do you expect from that last round? Now the challenge is to as quickly as possible collect $ 8,000 in donations. The first 25 participants that succeed will be admitted to the program of the Unreasonable Institute this summer. This is done via the online Unreasonable Market Place. They have developed a clever system, where the maximum donation is $ 10 in the first week which gradually increases. This way, the entrepreneurs show that they can mobilize broad support and prevents that someone all of a sudden receives the total amount from a sudden “rich uncle”. What can we do for you to become one of the 25 finalists? You can do two things. Forward this message to as many family, friends and acquaintances as possible. And of course with donating yourself. How can we be kept informed of progress? I will invite all donors to join our newsletter. In the newsletter we keep our supporters informed. Furthermore, people can join our LinkedIn group Energy4All / NICE International and people can follow me on Twitter

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