Review second Market Place Good Socialbusiness in the Rheinisch-Bergisch district

On May 15, 2023, people from politics, business and the community from the Rheinisch Bergisch district took part in the second "Marketplace of Good Business" at Haus Altenberg in Odenthal.

Following its premiere in 2019, the second “Marktplatz Gute Geschäfte” (Good Business Marketplace) in the Rheinisch-Bergisch district was able to build on the success of the first speed dating of companies and volunteers after a break due to Corona: 24 participants, including 14 nonprofit organizations and 10 companies from the Rheinisch-Bergisch district, got to know each other on May 15 at Haus Altenberg in Odenthal and concluded a total of 13 engagement agreements with a total engagement value of around 15,000 euros. The format, which has already been successfully practiced in many cities, including Cologne and Bonn, brings companies and nonprofit organizations together and initiates cooperation at eye level. What’s special about it is that no money is involved; the partners support each other with four exchange currencies: Know-how (pro bono), manpower and time, networks and contacts, and labor and material resources.

Impressions of the market place 2023

The second Rhine-Berg Marketplace was also supported by the Dr. Jürgen Rembold Foundation for the Promotion of Civic Involvement as the main sponsor, as well as the Kreissparkasse Köln with active (wo)man-power.

“I am completely convinced by the concept,” emphasized Stephan Santelmann, District Administrator of the Rheinisch-Bergischer Kreis and patron of the event, in his welcoming speech. He thanked the team of organizers Tanja Siebert from Amaidi and Christian Gollmer from the Forum for Sustainability for the Bergisch for their perseverance, the sponsors for making the event possible, and the tirelessly committed volunteers for their unwavering dedication even in difficult times.

Before the negotiating floor was opened with a gong strike by Santelmann, Dr. Jürgen Rembold awarded prizes to the three best cooperations of the first Marktplatz Gute Geschäfte Rhein-Berg in Rösrath. “The project is a prime example of civic engagement,” said the Rösrath benefactor, explaining the sponsorship and awarding of the prizes. “An important bridge is being built here between businesses and civil society.”

The award winners

The DRK Rösrath, Hits fürs Hospiz and Stiftung Gute Hand were each awarded 200 euros. Two of the engagement agreements were realized with Ms. Radermacher from Feelgood Trainer, and one project with social media manager Sonja Theile-Ochel, Rheinda communications agency. Rembold thanked the female entrepreneurs for their exemplary function and announced that the most fruitful and sustainable cooperations of the second marketplace will be awarded again.

After the gong sounded, non-profit organizations and companies exchanged ideas intensively, gathered exciting new ideas and, in the end, not only made written cooperation agreements, but also established new contacts with each other over a delicious buffet. The abundant leftover food was donated by the organizers to the representatives of the Platte Association who were present and used it to surprise the needy and homeless people they care for.

Among the participating non-profits were the Förderverein Stadtbücherei Leichlingen, Fix-it-Climate, Herzkranke Kinder Köln, the Ernährungsrat Bergisches Land, Landschaft und Geschichte, Helfende Pfoten Verein für Assistenzhunde und ihre Menschen, Platte e.V., Stiftung Gute Hand, Hits fürs Hospiz, Theas Theater and FAIReinskultur. On the corporate side, the IT company Vidinli Software, the Rhineland Foundation for Education, Help in Deal and Phantasiali Stoffe were among the companies represented.

First-hand impressions were also gained by the Lupe Volunteer Center from Leverkusen, which is considering implementing a Good Business Marketplace for its region as well.

All the commitment agreements made during the “Marketplace” were recorded in writing on the evening of the event. Their implementation will be monitored by the organizer team. The best collaborations will be awarded prizes at the next marketplace, which is expected to take place in early summer 2024.

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