Sigrid van Aken in Dutch newspaper: ‘We are aiming for the second 10 billion'

Boudewijn Poelmann, founder and CEO of Novamedia, has been included in the list of the World's Top 25 Eco-Innovators presented by the American magazine Fortune. This list comprises individuals from business, science and government throughout the world who have shown the most ‘creativity’, ‘drive’ and ‘know-how’ in combatting climate change over the last year.

Sigrid van Aken, CEO of Novamedia, has been interviewed by the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. In the interview, which was published on Saturday 28 November 2020, she talked about her ambitions, entrepreneurship, ideals and her personal background.

Sigrid van Aken took over from entrepreneur and founder Boudewijn Poelmann in February. In the interview with Het Parool she talked about her plans for growth. “Over the last thirty years, we have been able to give €10 billion to charities. Moreover, countries such as Germany and Great Britain are huge growth markets for us."

"I would like to expand to other countries; there is interest from Canada and we are looking at opportunities in France. And, of course, we went to keep the existing lotteries successful in the five countries where we are already operating and allow them to grow further. We are aiming for the second 10 billion.”

She identifies the legalisation of the gambling market as one of the challenges for Novamedia. “In six months’ time, online gambling will be legalised in the Netherlands. We will then face a new form of competition. Behind these online gambling companies are often large commercial companies. As fundraising lotteries, we have a completely different product, but we all operate in the same gambling market. We will have to fight to maintain our revenues for charity.”

In the interview Sigrid van Aken pointed out the unique governance structure that sets Novamedia apart from other companies. There are no shareholders who are looking for profit. “The shares are in the hands of a foundation, so we cannot be taken over by a commercial party. The aim of this structure is that the decision-makers all share the same goal: to create social value. This allows us to do business sustainably and does not force us into short-term profits or successes to please shareholders.”

Read the full interview in Het Parool.

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Sigrid van Aken in Dutch newspaper Het Parool