Student Romy Romeyn (1998) is team leader at Organobike and one of the faces of the Challenge Accepted campaign. What has she learned so far, working for a startup? And how did she experience seeing her own face everywhere?
Romy Romeyn is second-year International Business Administration student at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is also this year’s team leader for Organobike. This startup delivers fresh and organic fruit to Rotterdam-based companies. All products are delivered on bicycles. Organobike is one of the projects founded by Enactus. Enactus Rotterdam stimulates sustainable projects in Rotterdam to encourage entrepreneurship among students, but also to take care of the environment.
How much time do you spend at Organobike?
‘Since this is an extracurricular activity, unfortunately I can’t afford to work full-time. I get some work done every day, however; I read emails, go to meetings. But at the end of the term I still have to pass my exams. I probably spend about 16 hours a week at Organobike. And I have a team that also works eight to 16 hours a week. Next year someone else will be team leader, as I will go on an exchange to Dublin.’
What are you learning from running a startup?
‘I’m learning so much! Studying is merely theoretical; this way I also discover how to be an entrepreneur in real life. We learn a lot from the setbacks. It teaches me which real-life issues to expect when you start your own company. In addition, I learn a lot about the social aspects of a company and the interaction with other people.’
'I discover how to be an entrepreneur in real life. We learn a lot from the setbacks.'
What are your goals for the future of Organobike?
‘Right now, one of our focal points is growth. It would be great if more Rotterdam-based companies required our services. By growing the company we can reach more people; not just with the products, but also with our story. The fruits gets delivered every Tuesday using electric bikes, the whole area from Rotterdam East (campus Woudestein) to Rotterdam West (Delfshaven) and everything in between is in our range.
Our other focus is on sustainability. It goes without saying that we work with biological products only and use electric bicycles. But in my opinion we can make this business model even more sustainable. We can look into the way we handle waste. And the amount of plastic packaging we use, for example. It would be nice to make every layer of the organisation sustainable.’
Why is this an important issue for you?
‘I think we need to create more sustainable business models, because we don’t have a lot of other options left. Much of the environment is destroyed already. Let’s diminish the amount of damage we do and instead come up with nature-friendly ways to operate. Every company, big or small, should be thinking about ways to reduce waste and damage. Let’s come together and create a healthier balance between profit and environment. I bring my own bag to the supermarket when I go grocery-shopping, and I should be implementing that same standard to the business. Even with little things, you can do something good.’
How did you experience being the face of the Challenge Accepted campaign?
‘It was very nice to work with a professional film team to shoot the pictures and the video. My mother liked it a lot, seeing my face online. She was proud. I’m a strong supporter of Challenge Accepted. As a matter of fact, we could still use feedback and tips from alumni who are entrepreneurs in the same sector.’