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STEK: Local, Circular and Social

    As the 'creative facilitator' for the creative business park STEK (Havenkwartier Breda), Bonny Hubers van Assenraad mainly has a connecting role. Between STEK and the city, the schools, and external entrepreneurs. "Everyone should know what STEK stands for, because this place is much more than just a few creative entrepreneurs together." First of all: what is it like to work in Breda? "I originally come from a village where I knew everyone. And actually, it still feels like that in Breda. Personally, but also professionally. You get to know people so quickly here. People from Breda are very open - and always up for new ideas and collaborations. This city has embraced me, that's how it feels.

    STEK staat voor Stimulation of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Knowledge.

    “STEK is a creative entrepreneurs' village, with a mission. We facilitate a creative breeding ground, in which as a starting entrepreneur you are given the space, time and support to develop yourself. Making mistakes is part of that. Some entrepreneurs outgrow their space here in no time and end up in a building in the city centre. Others gradually discover that entrepreneurship isn't quite right for them. It might not work out. And that's completely okay.

    We also want to offer a different view on the economy here – and show that it can be different. Fairer, better, together. Local, circular and social entrepreneurship: that's what we stand for here. The motto at STEK has always been: use what you have. Whether that's the neighbour's raw materials or their advice, knowledge and services. So here we really get everything out of it, literally. This not only works nicely and efficiently, it also helps to keep our footprint low.” 

    It might not work out. And that's completely fine.

    When are you welcome at STEK as an entrepreneur?

    "Here, the PLUGS decide together. New entrepreneurs always start with a pitch. Circular economy and social entrepreneurship should have a clear place in this. They should be the foundation, really. This is what we stand for 100% here - and that's what we expect from you too.

    Equally important: you must be willing to invest in STEK. In each other and in the place we have created together. So it's important that you're open to co-creation and also contribute your part when it comes to maintaining the site and organising events. Collaboration is a prerequisite here. For this reason, we would like you to be present here at least 3 days a week."

    What do you think the presence of STEK adds to Breda?

    “A different sound. We do things here just a little differently - and that brings the diversity, inspiration and innovation that you need in the city. Otherwise, it quickly becomes a mass-produced and flat affair. Hopefully, with our 'difference', we can also be an example for the new generation. And inspire young people to look at the economy and entrepreneurship through a different lens.”

    How do you connect with that new generation?

    “We collaborate a lot with the educational institutions in Breda. This mainly involves sharing knowledge, 'in the STEKS way': learning from each other. We share our knowledge and experience on topics such as material reuse, upcycling, plastic-free living, biodiversity, you name it. In return, the students keep us sharp on the latest insights and technologies.” 

    What message would you like to convey to young talent in Breda?

    "Dare to ask for help when needed. I feel that the new generation wants to do everything 'perfectly' and 'right the first time'. Failing has become a no-go, while you actually progress through trial and error. In Breda, and especially here at STEK, you have the space to figure out what suits you. And also: what doesn't. You don't have to reinvent the wheel all by yourself. We got your back."

    Curious? Book a 'tour'!

    Do you want to learn more about what the entrepreneurs at STEK understand by meaningful entrepreneurship? Come and experience the atmosphere and sign up for a personal ‘STEK tour’.

    Explore more in the vicinity of Havenkwartier?