September 16, 2013
Gerhard van Klaveren marks his 20th year as an entrepreneur in the aftermarket industry.
Beginning his entrepreneurial career by selling second-hand electronics to students whilst he studied at the Martime Academy in Amsterdam, Gerhard worked at several staffing and recruitment jobs before taking over Carbonia, a cartridge division which refilled and sold empty toner cartridges, in September 1993, which he said was his “first step towards entrepreneurship”.
The company underwent a number of developments, eventually becoming Van Klaveren crt (cartridge remanufacture technology) BV, which focused on the refilling of used cartridges from copiers and printers, with Gerhard explaining: “We bought empty cartridges, disassembled them, cleaned them, repaired and filled them again with ink and toner. The recycled cartridges were sold to businesses in various European countries. Today we still see the benefit of our experience in remanufacturing, we know exactly what our customers need.”
Van Klaveren ccc (cartridge collection centre) BV was founded in 1997 to meet the demand for empty cartridges: “We were very successful in collecting empty cartridges, we raised more than we actually needed for production,” said Gerhard. “In 2005 we decided to divest the manufacturing division and collection became the core business. Today we do not only collect empty cartridges, but we are also engaged in the collection of used mobile phones and used ICT equipment.”
Over the past 20 year, Van Klaveren has proved its existence in the aftermarket industry, employing 40 people and saving around 3.4 million empty cartridges and used mobile phones annually from going to landfill. It now focuses on corporate social responsibility through various activities. Gerhard said: “I prefer to speak of socially responsible entrepreneurship. Precisely that involvement in society is extremely important. So we regularly recruit new staff through the UWV, the prison system and social services. These people deserve a fair chance.”
Furthermore, through the company’s collection brand, Eeko, empty cartridges and mobile phones are collected from businesses, schools, institutions and individuals, with the proceeds mainly benefiting charities: “At the moment we are collaborating with 17 charities, including AAP, CliniClowns, Opkikker and Hulphond Netherlands,” said Gerhard.
In response to Van Klaveren’s efforts towards social responsibility, Gerhard has been nominated as Social Entrepreneur in the Social Responsible Entrepreneur 2013 election in Deventer. He has so far made it to the top three out of all nominees, and can be voted for until 4 October at www.deventermarktplein2013.nl/stemmen
Categories : Around the Industry