Founder, B Lab Europe | CEO, Ubiquity
“EUROPEAN LEADER IN SUSTAINABLE ENTREPRENEURSHIP, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR, WRITER, SPEAKER, SDG AMBASSADOR AND IMPACT INVESTOR”
After his high school in The Netherlands and in Texas, Leen Zevenbergen was trained as an economist and accountant. He holds a masters degree in Business Accounting from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
After his graduation he quickly discovered that being employed (at Philips Corporate Accounting)was not the way forward for him. At age 24 he started his first company, called Bolesian. This was the first Artificial Intelligence company in The Netherlands.
He sold Bolesian, which still exists under a different name, to Cap Gemini after seven years.
Being the master of his own destiny he started another 20 companies after this first one, among them companies in areas like Virtual Reality and Computer Graphics (based in Silicon Valley), but also trading companies and golf companies. Most companies were technology oriented, both in software (Escador) as well as in renewable energy (Solarus.com).
In between creating and starting companies, Leen Zevenbergen managed several large multinationals in many countries, companies like Pink Roccade, Origin and Qurius/Prodware.
The Technology being his initial driver, Sustainability is his second. In 1996, Leen became an active member of Social Venture Network (SVN), the first global platform of socially responsible entrepreneurs. Leen served SVN as its European Chairman. From SVN he was introduced to B Lab and co-founded in 2013 their European platform. Having been Chair of B Lab Europe for many years, he developed its growth to 1000 B Corps in Europe.
Creating a Better World, maybe even using Technology to do so, is the basis for all of his work. His passion lies in starting something that doesn’t exist, preferably business as a force for good; companies with a purpose.
Having the experience of running large multinational companies, combined with his large entrepreneurial experience, all on the basis of “Business as a Force for Good” was the input for the several management books that he wrote.
His first book “En nu laat ik mijn baard staan”, translated in English “Rip off your necktie and dance”, became Management Book of the Year 2007 and sold over 100,000 copies. The book was translated in English and French.
Following his first book, Leen Zevenbergen wrote two other books about both entrepreneurship (“T’is Groen en groener wordt het niet”) and sustainability “Sustainability @ the Speed of Passion!”
Finishing his masterpiece now, called “Once upon a Future”.