Students of ILS learn their profession in real life. That is why International Lifestyle Studies works together with companies from the Netherlands and abroad. In the first two years of the programme, these companies act as project owners. In their third year, students can also approach them for their internships. On Join ILS, these companies introduce themselves on a regulary basis.
Company name BANK15
Representative Fenne Verhoeven
Has collaborated with ILS since 2016
What kind of company is BANK15?
“BANK15 is a movement rather than a company. It started with the idea of how to inspire and help people start up a business, without a subsidy. BANK15 aspires an inclusive society where everybody can join and people get the opportunity to exploit their potential. We approach social issues with a commercial mindset. We want everybody to have the opportunity to participate in business and society. At BANK15, we have three platforms: ‘Kweektuin’ (growing garden), ‘Vaktaal’ (jargon) and ‘Kruispunt’ (intersection). These platforms provide opportunities for retail, art, music, knowledge and education, among others. An example is the food lab from the ‘Kweektuin’ platform. An entrepreneur is given the opportunity to test his or her concept at a low rental rate for a period of a year and a half. This enables them to start up and develop their concept. We help entrepreneurs on their journey, but also ask them for their help in return. We take a lot of fuss away from the start-up. This saves time and energy, which can be used to give a refugee a place to work or to let people under the poverty line eat a free meal at the start-up kitchen. That is how we keep the circle round.”
What is your relationship with ILS?
“When BANK15 had just started, ACI immediately wanted to collaborate with BANK15. The former ACI director wanted students to connect with BANK15. We do several projects with different academies and study programmes. For ILS we are a commissioning party for a first year assignment and we help students to generate and work out ideas. For example: a group of first year students were eager to set up an event. We helped them set it up and facilitated where needed in order to make it happen. Many ILS students also choose this venue to study or work and we offer internships. Just like me: I started as an ILS intern and now work at BANK15.”
What is the added value of this type of collaboration?
“ILS students tend to understand the concept behind BANK15 very quickly. An economics student may understand the commercial part, but ILS students also understand the connection we strive to make. When first year students do assignments here, they often amaze me with their achievements. They have a fresh look on things and some of their ideas have been really helpful for BANK15. ILS students will not deliver an ‘average’ idea.”
What do you like about ILS?
“ILS enables students to choose their own direction. Graduate students follow their own path and specialize in different subjects. Some graduates do research, some started their own business while others work as concept developers. All these choices fit with the study programme. ILS responds to trends and does not only approach things from an economical point of view but also strongly focuses on social engagement.”