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Leen Zevenbergen

Serial entrepreneur. Impact investor. European leader in sustainable entrepreneurship. Former Chairman of Social Venture Network Europe. Co-Founder, B Lab Europe. Author, speaker, Chairman at Bolesian.

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). His passion lies in starting something that doesn’t exist, preferably business as a force for good; companies with a purpose. He is a serial entrepreneur and not a manager.

In between creating and starting companies, Leen Zevenbergen managed several large multinationals in many countries, companies like Pink Roccade, Origin and Qurius/Prodware.

Having the experience of running these large multinational companies, combined with his large entrepreneurial experience, 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!”

Leen Zevenbergen ran all of his companies always with a very long term oriented and sustainable view over the past 30 years. Having been Chairman of Social Venture Network Europe and being Co-Founder of B Lab Europe makes him to one of the European leaders in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship.