Impact Areas

Business ecosystems

PUM drives local positive impact on a global scale. PUM works with small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as entities that support them. Our 1,200 experts collaborate with ambitious entrepreneurs in more than 30 countries and share their experience to optimise entire business ecosystems. A business ecosystem is a collaboration between businesses and, when needed, supporting organisations to address common challenges and opportunities, and to create more economical, social and ecological value.

The key players within a business ecosystem include entrepreneurs (SMEs and other businesses), organisations that support these businesses, and institutions like educational institutes, employers’ organisations and government agencies. PUM coordinates activities with various clients within a business ecosystem to realise sustainable impact through replication, collaboration, and cross-fertilisation.

Working within ecosystems is not an end in itself, it serves as a means to achieve shared objectives. Each ecosystem is unique and will have specific goals depending on the business environment, type of entrepreneurs and challenges. The significance lies in the collaboration among different players, fostering mutual growth, knowledge sharing and exchanging innovative ideas, while also strengthening the relationships with suppliers and customers, and improving conditions for entrepreneurs.

Social dialogue

Social dialogue encompasses all matters related to labour and employment relationships. It starts with two or more parties - social partners - looking at an issue from different perspectives and seeking to reach a solution together. Social dialogue is a way to manage conflicting or divergent interests. It’s important to keep the conversation going, even when things aren’t going well.  Social dialogue is continually evolving, occurring at national, regional, sectoral, and company levels. Social partners are guided by principles such as mutual trust and the desire to find solutions together. 

PUM offers a wealth of expertise in guiding social dialogue development in emerging economies. Practical examples indicate that social dialogue is a powerful way to achieve balanced relationships between employers, employees, and governments, providing a fertile ground for business growth and job creation. PUM experts establish long-term relationships with clients to work on building trust with stakeholders, fostering the development of social dialogue. It’s a process, not just a project.
Social Dialogue in Indonesia


PUM believes that entrepreneurial people make the difference. They are crucial changemakers, taking action to build a better future for their communities and improve the world. Their businesses play a catalysing role in stimulating inclusive and sustainable development and as such they are at the heart of PUM's mission. PUM focuses on ambitious entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), specifically reaching out to young and female entrepreneurs. By sharing expertise and working together with them and with organisations supporting SMEs, we optimise entire business ecosystems.

Gender equality and women's empowerment

Women empowerment through female entrepreneurship offers many opportunities for inclusive, sustainable and economic development. Besides contributing to equality and emancipation, female entrepreneurs are able to play a significant role in creating employment opportunities, generating income and innovation. In many of the countries where PUM is active the potential remains largely unused. For many women in these countries, entrepreneurship is a choice made out of necessity and means of survival. PUM underlines the concern for an enabling environment in which female entrepreneurs can flourish. We therefore focus on collaborating with female entrepreneurs. Our experts acknowledge the challenges and see opportunities for women as entrepreneurs. Through our knowledge and experience we can empower female entrepreneurs so they can further expand their businesses and create a structurally better future for their community; socially, ecologically and economically.
Yodit Hailu Weldemdhin

Youth entrepreneurship and employment

Across the world, young people make up almost 40% of the unemployed. Especially in many of the countries where PUM is active, the situation is urgent, and this is strengthened by a fast growing population. In these countries economic prospects for young people are often bleak and the challenges confronting them are rough. For the most part, the young people succeeding in finding a job work in the informal sector. A lack of perspective strengthens social unrest for young people and makes them more likely to migrate in search of better opportunities. PUM is active in various countries in which youth employment is a serious challenge. By supporting small and medium-sized enterprises driving the economy, PUM enhances the economic potential for young people in these countries. Furthermore we actively commit to better vocational education and training to multiply the opportunities  on the job market for young people. Through our support to incubators we aim to enable young and starting entrepreneurs to build successful businesses.

Climate change mitigation and adaptation

As our world undergoes unprecedented transformations, it is imperative that we understand the causes, consequences, and collective actions needed to address global challenges. Climate change refers to long-term alterations in temperature, precipitation, and other atmospheric conditions on earth. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes, contribute significantly to the increase in greenhouse gases, leading to a warming planet. This warming triggers a cascade of effects, from rising sea levels to extreme weather events, impacting ecosystems and human societies alike. PUM takes sustainable entrepreneurship and strong business ecosystems as a starting point in the sectors we are active in. We embrace sustainable practices, support renewable energy initiatives, and advocate for responsible policies. Together with ambitious entrepreneurs and the organisations that support them, we can collectively work towards more sustainable business ecosystems, resulting in a healthier and more resilient future.

Food security

Millions of people worldwide have limited access to sufficient and nutritious food. The global food supply will increasingly become a challenge, especially because of climate change and the depletion of natural resources. Food security is therefore featured prominently in the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in the form of SDG 2 ('No Hunger'). In many of the countries where PUM operates, food security is under pressure. Therefore, many of our activities are related to addressing food security issues, by supporting companies to increase their productivity and improve the quality. PUM experts have knowledge in fields such as beekeeping, livestock, fisheries, and food and beverage processing. As an organisation we can fall back on leading Dutch expertise and experience in agriculture, horticulture and food processing. PUM focuses on improving the food system, improving the role of small and medium-sized enterprises within the entire value chain.
Food Security

Digitalisation and innovation

Innovation is of crucial importance to sustainable development. Small and medium-sized enterprises are the breeding ground for innovation and change. Innovation not only contributes to economic growth, employment opportunities, and poverty eradication, it also offers solutions to address global challenges like climate change, food security and energy transition. PUM coordinates activities with various clients within business ecosystems, allowing to achieve shared objectives. This collaboration also includes the exchange and implementation of innovative ideas, to strengthen the entire business ecosystem. This happens in sectors sensitive to innovation such as IT, but the potential for innovation is present in every sector and through cross-cutting fields of expertise. For example, in vocational education by applying new teaching methods, in tourism through the use of e-marketing, or by introducing solar energy to our clients.