As 'creative quartermaster' for the creative terrain STEK (Harbour quarter Breda), Bonny Hubers of Assenraad has primarily a connecting role. Between STEK and the city, the schools and external entrepreneurs. "Everyone needs to know what STEK stands for, because this place is much more than just a few creative entrepreneurs bunched together."
First of all: what is it like to work in Breda?
"I come from a village where I knew everyone. And actually, it still feels like that in Breda. Privately, but also professionally. You get to know people here so quickly. Breda people are very open - and always in for new ideas and collaborations. This city has embraced me, that's how it feels."
What does STEK stand for?
"STEK is a creative entrepreneurial village, with a mission. We facilitate a creative breeding ground, where you, as a starting entrepreneur, are given the space, time and support to develop. This includes making mistakes. In no time at all, some entrepreneurs grow out of their shell and end up in a building in the city centre. Others find out along the way that entrepreneurship doesn't quite suit them after all. It may not work out. And that's totally okay.
We also want to offer a different view of the economy here - and show that things can be done differently. Fairer, better, together. Local, circular and social entrepreneurship: that is what we stand for. The credo at STEK has always been: use what you have. Whether it's your neighbour's raw materials or his advice, knowledge and services. So we really make the most of it here, literally. That not only works smooth and efficiently, it also contributes to our footprint being and staying low."
“ It may not work out. And that's totally okay. ”
If you are an entrepreneur, when are you welcome at STEK?
"That's what the STEKKERS here really determine together. New entrepreneurs always do a pitch first. Circularity and social entrepreneurship must have a clear place in it. Be a foundation, actually. We 100% stad for that - and we expect the same from you.
Equally important: you must want to invest in STEK. In each other and in the place we have created here together. So it is important that you are open to co-creation and do your bit when it comes to maintaining the grounds and organising events. Working together is a prerequisite here. For that reason, we would like you to be here at least 3 days a week.''
What do you think STEK adds to Breda?
"A different sound. We do things slightly differently here - and that brings the diversity, inspiration and innovation you desperately need in the city. Otherwise it quickly becomes massive and flat. Hopefully, our 'being different' will also set 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 cooperate a lot with the educational institutions in Breda. This is mainly in sharing knowledge, 'in STEKS' style: learning from each other. We share our knowledge and experience around themes such as reuse of materials, upcycling, plastic-free living, biodiversity, you name it. Conversely, the students keep us sharp on the latest insights and technologies."
What would you like to pass on, to young talent in Breda?
"Dare to ask for help when needed. I feel that the new generation wants to do everything too perfectly and 'right the first time'. Failure has become a no-go, while you get further by trial and error. In Breda, and especially here at STEK, you get the space to find out what suits you. And also: what doesn't. You don't have to invent the wheel on your own. We got your back."
Curious? Book a 'tour'!
Want to know more about what the entrepreneurs at STEK mean by meaningful entrepreneurship? Come and check out the atmosphere and sign up for a personal 'STEK tour' (dutch website).
4815 HC Breda