UA Enterprises


  1. RotterZwam is an edible mushroom business in a former tropical swimming pool in the city of Rotterdam (NL). It is a for-profit, social enterprise which has a cooperative (member owned) status. They call themselves a social enterprise because their aim is not to maximise profit but to achieve a balance between profit and social impact. They also started the Mushroom Learning Network (
  2. KEY ACTIVITIES: The production area is 1500 m2 inside a former swimming pool. They use several spaces in the building such as the former dressing rooms. They produce oyster mushrooms, worms, compost and enzymes. Besides coffee grounds, they also use coffee husk, another waste product, for growing their substrate. By focussing on reusing as much waste as possible, they found that instead of straw (which is normally used) they could also use coffee husk. Husk is released when roasting coffee beans and roasters normally waste it. They have made supply agreements with the majority of the micro roasters in Rotterdam as well as with roasters in the surrounding region to collect enough for their production. They pick up their husk for free on a weekly basis. They figured out that most coffee is consumed at home (about 70%), so they developed the Growkit, that helps people convert their own coffee waste in mushrooms. They are continuously thinking of developing new products based on their used resources.
  3. RELEVANT DIMENSION: Inner city, , professional, home consumption and anonymous markets, specific produce quality, innovative methods
  4. BUSINESS MODELS: Product differentiation (niche markets); experimental (new production methods, innovation)