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Thuishulp Rotterdam: Human centered innovation in the health care industry

There is a growing need for human support in the elderly care sector. In an era of digitization, cutbacks and overworked care providers, the healthcare sector in the Netherlands yearns for innovation with a beating heart. At the same time 5% of the population in Rotterdam is unemployed. Addressing both issues with one company, we are building Thuishulp Rotterdam, in cooperation with our partner the Municipality of Rotterdam. Through their reintegrated ‘workforce’ Thuishulp Rotterdam offers local, tailor-made services to elderly who still live at home. And it is working. 

Innovation in the healthcare sector with a human touch

In January Thuishulp Rotterdam won the Runner Up Care Innovation Prize for the South Holland region. A key benchmark for the care Innovation Award is added value for both the client and care provider.

“What you see with many healthcare organizations is that they have to work very efficiently and can only do what is absolutely necessary. They don’t have time for a chat,” explains Jan Willem Hoogeweegen, Director of Thuishulp Rotterdam. ”When I stood up to receive the award I was standing on a stage occupied by innovations to digitize and robotize care and assistance. Amidst the growth of these technologies it is essential that the elderly and those in need of help stay in contact with the real peoplewho support them. Loneliness will only increase if the human touch isn’t part of the solution.“

Jan Willem receiving the Runner Up Care Innovation Award on behalf of the entire Thuishulp Rotterdam team. 

“The strength of Thuishulp Rotterdam is that we provide flexible and personal services based on a combination of the needs of the client and the strengths of the service provider,” says Sonia Thakoer, team leader Care Providers. “I look carefully at the personality, qualities and skills of the service provider and which of these fit our client’s request for help. Yet that alone isn’t enough, there needs to be a personal connection!”

There is a growing base of happy customers. Mr. Ierland is one of them, “To my pleasant surprise, what Thuishulp Rotterdam promises has been fully realized. Their service providers come as long as you need and are all very pleasant people.”

It is working…

Not only do the service providers of Thuishulp Rotterdam regularly visit private clients. Thuishulp Rotterdam now also cooperates with large care organizations such as the Lelie Zorggroep and Middin as well as with elderly apartments such as the Hillegondaflat. The company is now unburdening healthcare institutions of services including housework, administrative support, emergency care, night attendance and support for dementia and other disabilities.

Thuishulp Rotterdam is proof that innovation in the care sector is possible without losing a personal touch. Furthermore by providing job opportunities for those at distance from labor market, they are bringing two groups in Rotterdam together. Health care organizations increasingly join forces with Thuishulp Rotterdam, making care and assistance with a personal touch possible & affordable. 

The future is bright: From testing to break-even to beyond

The elderly market will only increase in size looking at the Dutch demographics, creating a huge business opportunity for Thuishulp Rotterdam. 

And the company is growing fast. Over the past year they have seen a consistent average monthly growth of 25% in service providing hours. Plus they now already have more than 30 employees.

Using the Lean Start Up methodology that is integral to Enviu’s venture building process, the team started out with low threshold testing. You could spot them handing out flyers in the local supermarket in different areas of Rotterdam! Now, with these learnings onboard, the company is scaling out its online marketing campaigns to reach a larger audience at a lower cost. Thuishulp Rotterdam is nearing the end of its validation phase with its business model adjusted and ready to reach the next level. 

The growing team of Thuishulp Rotterdam

“We are now looking for investors who share our passion for the two target audiences. There is a clear strategy to scale and break even in 2020,” Jan Willem says enthusiastically. “Scaling means lightening the hearts of more elderly in need of care, and more unemployed persons eager to be economically independent again!” 

And then? Thuishulp Den Haag, Thuishulp Amsterdam, Thuishulp Utrecht…