Doing business differently

The third Social and Ecological Entrepreneurship Conference at SBE


MAASTRICHT. “The more you share with others, the more they’ll share with you”, said Uwe Luebbermann, the founder of Premium Cola, as he presented his alternative business philosophy to a group of around thirty students. Last week’s Innovative Business Lecture at the School of Business and Economics was part of the Social and Ecological Entrepreneurship Conference organised by students from different faculties in cooperation with SIFE Maastricht and the SBE Centre for Entrepreneurship.

The conference, held on 17 and 18 April, welcomed several speakers from the field of sustainability. During the lectures, an organic dinner at D’n Hiemel and a movie at the Lumière cinema, the conference organisers sought to foster social and environmental entrepreneurship among students.
Luebbermann, who gave the closing lecture, presented his vision of a social and ecological business. His company Premium Cola has no written contracts, no offices, no hierarchical structures and no advertisements. Instead it is a network of business partners, all of whom are involved in decision making. Sounds utopian? “I wanted to prove you can do business differently, and it worked!” he says. “Our network is very stable, and business partners can really rely on each other. Since nothing is written down in a contract, we are all very conscious that we want to work together.” Luebbermann’s unusual business provokes many questions from the audience. During the eleven years that Premium Cola has existed, has Luebbermann ever thought of giving up on his idea? “No. I’ve never had any pressure, so I just continued.”
“It think it’s really remarkable how patient he was in building up such a business”, comments one of the students after the lecture. Mona Sachter, student at the faculty of arts and social sciences and one of the organisers is content: “After the first speaker left because of the small audience, we were very happy about Luebbermann’s presentation. His important message is that every social and ecological business starts with a need to change something. Luebbermann has shown that if you really want change, you can achieve it. That’s a nice closing message for our conference.”

Marie Rosenkranz

Doing business differently
Author: Redactie
Categories: News,

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