We believe in the power of entrepreneurship in reducing poverty. Knowledge plays a crucial role in this. Entrepreneurs in emerging countries are perfectly capable of becoming the engine for stimulating employment and economic growth. The problem is that access to knowledge for these entrepreneurs is limited. We want to change this!
The Lendahand Foundation trains and assists entrepreneurs in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. We help entrepreneurs to acquire the relevant knowledge and skills to improve their business. This enables them to employ more people and as a result reduce poverty in the country. We work as much as possible with local partners and experts providing trainings based on the needs of local entrepreneurs.
''An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest'' – B. Franklin.
The Lendahand Foundation is a non-profit organisation with ANBI status, founded by Peter in 2014. Peter Heijen is also the founder of crowdfunding platform www.lendahand.com which offers the affordable capital necessary for SMEs in emerging countries to grow. But capital alone is not always enough. Access to knowledge in the form of training is just as important.
Judith Mathijssen - Manager Lendahand Foundation
Innovative forms of international cooperation is what fascinates me. In the past 10 years I have done many projects in Africa and Asia where I have seen poverty but also a lot of entrepreneurship among the locals. Often it lacks the right push in the back to grow these businesses sustainable. Lendahand proves that financial and social return go together. As manager of the Foundation, I like to make a contribution to strengthening entrepreneurship and independence of our growing network of entrepreneurs. We do this through the Lendahand Academy, the consultancy network and the strong commitment of our local partners.
Danny den Hartog - Advisor Lendahand Foundation
During the six years I worked in Asia, I saw a lot of poverty, but also many optimistic and entrepreneurial people. It is great that I am now able to contribute to their development. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of entrepreneurship as a solution to the great social and environmental problems of our time. It is my passion to help social enterprises scale up in order to increase their impact. Through the Foundation Lendahand I can contribute to the development of entrepreneurs all over the world.
Eveline Westerhuis - Volunteer Fundraising
When conduciting field research in China, Peru and Brazil, I spoke with various small-medium enterprises and social enterprises, who made me aware of the importance of access to knowledge and skills. For the Lendahand Foundation, I am committed to increase the amount trainings through various new partnerships and funds. When collaborating with other parties, we are able to increase the impact and change we want to make.
Erna Goudt - Volunteer Online Content
In the Philippines, I spoke to John, the owner of a carpentry. From left-over wood, he makes tables and chairs to donate to local schools. A social entrepreneur, without having realised it. I think many companies should take him as an example. Increasingly, I ask myself why everyone does not start a social enterprise. I hope that the Lendahand Academy can inspire more entrepreneurs like John.
Eva Schouten - Volunteer Social Impact
During my studies I met a lot of motivated entrepreneurs in difficult situation. Ranging from a woman in a Tanzanian goldmine without protective means to a Ghanaian cocoa farmer unable to replant his land. I am very excited to work for Lendahand and support people like these!
The current Board is unpaid and includes Peter Heijen (chairman), Ron Schuurman (treasurer) and Wilbert Lek (secretary). The Board meets four times a year.
Peter Heijen - Chairman
When I travelled through Nepal, India and Bangladesh a few years ago, I witnessed a lot of poverty and came to the realisation that the strongest weapon against this is entrepreneurship and job creation. However, many business owners do not have access to affordable finance. Crowdfunding seemed like a good solution and that is why I started the organisation Lendahand. But capital alone is not always enough. Access to knowledge in the form of training is just as important. That is what the LendahandFoundation is about!
Ron Schuurman - Treasurer
Giving "free money", I see it as a temporary alleviation of a disaster or emergency, but not the means of structural aid and support. Micro and meso-credit appeal to me much more. In my role as a board member of the Lendahand Foundation, I hope to use my background to help businesses develop themselves further. I see this as a nice project alongside teaching Dutch lessons to foreign students and investing in various projects. My favourite hobby is traveling and having an affinity with and knowledge of other cultures and countries surely comes in handy.
Wilbert Lek - Secretary
For me, the combination of capital and education, which Lendahand offers via the crowdfunding platform and foundation, is the key to success for entrepreneurs in emerging countries. During the 4 years that I lived and worked with my family in Asia, we have been able to see how necessary this support is. Building a business is the only way to escape structural poverty. I am happy and proud to use my knowledge and experience to help them realize this dream!