This article has been translated from Dutch to English. Read the original here: https://www.business-haaglanden.nl/dazzle-platform-com/
Dazzle is an enterprise of the modern age. It's a platform and it's about sustainability. And, it's about the future, about a more sustainable world. We speak with founders Anje de Jager and Robert Smith, the inspired Dazzle entrepreneurs with a great story. Anje and Robert know each other well, as they worked together for several years in an international consulting firm before founding Dazzle-platform.com.
What does Dazzle do?
Anje: Dazzle is a platform, connecting companies and organizations with more than 60 talented freelancers around the world, who speak more than 15 languages and specialize in more than 10 fields in sustainability. Dazzle is not a marketplace where just anyone can offer their services. We guarantee quality and have screened and assessed all our freelancers for their professional qualities before they undertake assignments for us.'
Robert: "Our personal and professional mission is: 'To make it more accessible for companies and independent sustainability professionals to work with each other.' We discovered that, for many companies and organizations, sustainability is still a challenging topic, which they do face and can also create business opportunities. Often there is a lack of knowledge in the field of sustainability or not enough expert staff. Dazzle makes this knowledge available with its freelancers. They can help our clients develop and implement sustainable methods, processes, and procedures, reduce their 'environmental footprint', and realize their sustainability goals.'
What does the name Dazzle mean?
Anje: "Dazzle is a term that stands for a new movement of startups. A group of companies that aim to make a profit and also have a social impact. The term Zebra refers to the black and white in business. Because our platform does not make a direct impact, but our freelancers do, we are united with them under the name Dazzle.'
Robert: "We are committed to shared values with freelancers: Community, Integrity, and Progress. Community stands for cooperation with our freelancers and our clients. Integrity means that we only take on projects that contribute to sustainability. By Progress, we mean that everything we do should contribute to the progress of freelancers and clients. That in companies, for example, there should be more balance between profit and nature. We support the idea of People-Planet-Profit. It is about us achieving progress in sustainability with our clients, but also that our freelancers and we constantly develop and become better. One way we do this is by sharing information and experiences with freelancers.'
How do you work together with clients and freelancers?
Anje: "We work according to the ESG thought; Environmental, Social, Governance. Environmental stands for improving the climate, the environment, and nature. By social, we mean that we want to promote that people are treated fairly and that human rights are respected. Governance stands for doing business correctly. That people are paid nicely and our value-driven way of doing business. In many companies, these kinds of thoughts exist, but there is not an overall policy. Through the Dazzle way of working, we bring E-S-G together systematically and consistently.'
Robert: "We use the Discovery-Scope-Offer-Match working method. First, we determine whether we can and want to help the customer (Discovery). Then we determine the scope of the project and work out the case (Scope). Then we select a freelancer to work with the client through a combination of our algorithm and a face-to-face interview, and then prepare an offer for the client (Offer). When the freelancer and the offer match the challenge, the collaboration is confirmed to start working immediately (Match).
Anje: "In practice, we first do a baseline measurement with our customers. Based on this measurement, we determine sustainability goals together with the client. Then our freelancers devise a strategy on how to achieve these objectives. They can also help the client implement the plans to execute this strategy. So if the client lacks expert staff, our freelancers can step in. Of course, progress reports are prepared to monitor whether the business is going in the right direction. The legal side of things also has the attention of our freelancers and can assist a company with their compliance with local, national, and international laws and regulations.
Receptivity to sustainability
Anje: "Basically, we only want to work with companies and organizations that truly want to make themselves sustainable. Who are already receptive to working more sustainably and have the ambition to help them reduce their 'environmental footprint'. Their receptivity to sustainability is a necessary condition for us. Only then can our freelancers help achieve their sustainability goals. Only then will our impact be the greatest.'
Robert: "And that impact is very important to us. It is our passion to contribute to a more sustainable world. We can mainly make a big impact with SMEs, which lack the knowledge and expertise to become more sustainable, but do have the will to do so. Our freelancers allow us to make knowledge and expertise accessible to our clients. The companies that we are supporting come mainly from the manufacturing industry, packaging, automotive, chemicals, transport, and logistics.
Anje: "I grew up in South Africa. There I developed a love of nature and am driven to fight against injustice. Injustice in business and injustice in nature. Things have to change in the whole world. That's why I want to contribute to a more just and sustainable world through Dazzle. I see the Northern Lights as a beautiful symbol for a more sustainable world, a world where people and companies work together.'
Robert: "I am driven to help companies make their business more sustainable, both on the process and people's side. I want to do business ethically, with both our freelancers and clients. Also, I have a passion for helping companies make the right - ethical - choices. There is so much room for improvement.”