Cor Wobma is a Zwolle native

'Zwolle has a heart for innovation and connection'

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Cor Wobma recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of Binthout. He founded that company with business partner Karst Klein. Today, Wobma runs the company with a social heart. Binthout saves city wood from the chipper and turns it into design lamps, among other things. He does this together with a team of employees whom he helps find a place on the job market. "Binthout fits Zwolle very well. This is a city with a heart for innovation and connection."

"Despite my Frisian-sounding last name, I was born in Botswana. My parents worked there in Development Aid. They taught in technical schools and set up projects for the unemployed. Later, we also lived in Zimbabwe for a few years. When I was ten, we moved back to the Netherlands. It wasn't until I started studying Industrial Design that I ended up in Zwolle. I didn't know that city at all. But if you move so often as a child, it is easy to adapt to different worlds. Zwolle also turned out to be a very nice student city.

Accessible city

I felt at home here very quickly. After my studies I never really considered moving. Also because you build up a network very quickly in this city. [Zwolle people]]( "") are accessible people. When I cycle through town, I always meet people I know from my studies, from the VEZ church or from playing sports. In business, too, you quickly build up something in Zwolle. After my studies, I first opened a studio in R10. Then I worked as an industrial designer for many companies and organizations.


At that time, I met Karst. Together we developed a passion for wood. We saw the opportunities for the circular use of urban wood. Binthout prevents wood from Zwolle and its surroundings from being shredded or burned. We turn it into lamps, tables or other products. Since 2017, we have been doing that from Buitengoed de Herfte. That is a kind of gathering place of social and sustainable entrepreneurs. Previously, we had our own sawmill here. With the closure of that, the focus shifted from wood to people.

Official day care

Binthout is an official location for day care. We employ people whom we offer a protected place. We help them on their way to the labor market. Despite the fact that people come first with us, we still want to generate as much revenue as possible. With more production, we make our impact even greater. In that respect, I have high expectations for our wooden design lamps. We have a very diverse range of lamps for every interior. With these we give wood that would otherwise be burned a beautiful second life.

Opportunities in Zwolle

A company like Binthout fits very well in Zwolle. In conversations with fellow entrepreneurs I notice that it is more difficult to find a place on the market elsewhere. In Zwolle you find relatively many pioneers and connectors. People from Zwolle are open to new developments. Collaborations are easily established here. The municipality also encourages innovation and gives entrepreneurs opportunities. That makes Zwolle a pleasant city to work and live in.

Green city

What also makes Zwolle attractive is its beautiful surroundings. Around the city, nature is beautiful. Zwolle itself is also becoming greener. I like the fact that people from Zwolle are open to initiatives such as the NK Tegelwippen and other smaller projects that connect residents. In my own Wipstrik, valuable initiatives also arise in this way. It's a pleasant neighborhood to live in anyway: you can easily cycle to the city center or the nature around the city. That compact character of Zwolle also appeals to me."

Cor Wobma's top 3.

  • "I love the parks in Zwolle. We ourselves live near Park Wezenlanden. That's a nice place to go with the kids or to rollerblade with them. And if there's ice, you can skate on the pond."
  • "A nice lake I think is the Wijde Aa near the Aa-landen. Even on summer days it is less crowded there than at other lakes. You can walk around it nicely. And very occasionally I take a refreshing dip."
  • "What I really like about Zwolle is its central location. It is a great base for cycling and walking. You are in no time in the Vechtdal or on the Veluwe. And the immediate surroundings of Zwolle are also beautiful."

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