Joop van den Ende Awarded an Honorary Doctorate Honouring His Track Record in Cultural Entrepreneurship


On September 10th, theatre producer and Stage Entertainment founder Joop Van Den Ende (70) received an honorary doctorate from Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands.

Internationally, Joop Van Den Ende is best known for founding and heading the live entertainment company Stage Entertainment, which also owns theatres in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Russia, and France. On Broadway he was most recently represented by Sister Act. Van den Ende has also made a name in a patron of the arts, through his VandenEnde Foundation.

Prof. Maurits van Rooijen, Rector Magnificus and CEO of Nyenrode Business University explained the choice for Van den Ende as follows: “In the Netherlands and abroad, Joop Van Den Ende is a symbol of successful entrepreneurship. Under his inspiring leadership, Joop Van Den Ende Theater Productions, Joop Van Den Ende TeleVision Productions, Endemol and, most recently, Stage Entertainment – Europe’s biggest live entertainment business – have all flourished. Together with his wife Janine, he also founded the VandenEnde Foundation to provide opportunities for young, cultural talent, cultural initiatives and cultural entrepreneurship. As an entrepreneur, he brings together the core values that Nyenrode wants to pass on to its students: Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Stewardship. Joop Van Den Ende has made these values manifest in organizations with an enterprising culture and space for innovation and creativity. We are happy to crown this achievement with an honorary doctorate.”

Of the honorary doctorate, Joop Van Den Ende says “This is one of the greatest honors of my career. I regard the honorary doctorate from Nyenrode Business Universiteit as recognition for my efforts, as an entrepreneur, to bring culture to the attention of a wider public. In accepting this honorary doctorate, I am pleased to call upon Nyenrode’s students to devote even greater attention to the great economic possibilities offered by culture.”

The Nyenrode doctorate is Van den Ende’s second. Last year he was awarded a “Societal Honorary Doctorate” by Erasmus University Rotterdam in honor of his role in the live entertainment sector and impetus to culture in the Netherlands.

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