Innovative Dutch Entrepreneurs with an eye on emerging markets: Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012

Innovative Dutch Entrepreneurs with an eye on emerging markets: Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012



BiD Network and NCDO, in collaboration with Ernst & Young and De Investeerders Club, are delighted to announce the 15 pre-selected finalists of Ondernemen zonder Grenzen 2012.

In its third year, this business plan competition assists inspired Dutch entrepreneurs in either setting up or growing profitable, sustainable businesses in emerging markets.

Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen means Business Without Borders – and that is exactly the competition’s ambition. A paradigm shift is taking place in the development sector is gradually gaining vailidity that encouraging enterprise in emerging markets provides an effective and meaningfully way to increase prosperity is gradually gaining validity. Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen believes that by encouraging innovative Dutch business proposals in emerging markets, jobs and prosperity will follow.

Congratulations to all participants in this extremely challenging business plan competition. From the initial 142 applications, the following 15 have been pre-selected to undergo assessment by De Investeerders Club, who will have the difficult task of choosing just five winners to participate in the Growing SMEs Conference, Netherlands in November 2012.

The 15 pre-selected finalists


Butterfly Housing

Sector: Building
Finance needed: $100,000 – $200,000
Country: South Africa
Entrepreneur:  Robert Kats

Cost effective, sustainable housing is Butterfly Housing’s mandate. They design and deliver low cost prefabricated housing in the South African market.


Sector: Recycling
Finance needed: $200,000 – $500,000
Country: Costa Rica
Entrepreneur:  Tonnie Pruis

Vast amounts of wood are wasted in Costa Rica every day. With no professional wood recycling companies or government program in place to tackle the problem, Dapat-Labiom aims to export the essential knowledge and equipment to reduce wood wastage in Costa Rica.

First Solar Light (FSL)

Sector: Renewables
Finance needed: $200,000 – $500,000
Country: Ghana, Nigeria
Entrepreneur:  Evelyn Ekhator

FSL offers dual purpose solar products, operating as both lights and mobile phone chargers. Appealing primarily to the West African market, FSL has competitively priced products that can solve environmental and health issues while encouraging entrepreneurship through access to a charged mobile phone.

Glocal Publishing

Sector: Communication and Media
Finance needed: $50,000 – $100,000
Country: South Sudan
Entrepreneur:  Brigitte Sins

Produced by Glocal Publishing, SHE is the first women’s magazine on the market in South Sudan. With the right capacity and a long-term vision, SHE expects to produce a quality product, satisfying the women of South Sudan for many years to come.

Sector: Internet Services
Finance needed: $100,000 – $200,000
Country: Nepal, South Africa
Entrepreneur:  Yvon Gijsbers

Traveler’s platform allows you to meet local tourism entrepreneurs in emerging countries. If you want a unique experience while you get to grips with rural life on holiday this platform opens up a world of possibilities.

O My Bag

Sector: Fashion
Finance needed: $100,000 – $200,000
Country: India
Entrepreneur:  Paulien Wesselink

Fashionable and sustainable, O My Bag distribute products made from a unique kind of eco-leather that are manufactured by a local Indian fair trade organization. The company produces green products and empowers local craftspeople.


Sector: Retail
Finance needed: $10,000 – $50,000
Country: Guatemala
Entrepreneur:  Sanna Bleiji

PACAL’s “feel good” products are 100% handmade creations from the Mayan highlands of Guatemala. Producing a mix of woven fabrics and leather, the organization offers development opportunities to local Guatemalan producers and works towards an acceptable ecological footprint, while making a profit.

Research Africa

Sector: Market Research
Finance needed: $100,000 – $200,000
Country: Uganda
Entrepreneur:  Floor Montanus

The Research Africa project aims to set-up a market research agency in Uganda, focusing on social impact. Their business model empowers low-income individuals as valued consumers of products and services by offering respondents phone credit in exchange for feedback.

S3C Solar for Sub-Saharan Schools and Communities

Sector: Utilities
Finance needed: $200,000 – $500,000
Countries: Ethiopia, Kenya
Entrepreneur:  Jeroen Poole

S3C aims to enhance the economic deelopment of rural inhabitants by providing energy to schools and encouraging local entrepreneurship by training of technicians.


Sector: Recycling and Fashion
Finance needed: $50,000 – $100,000
Countries: Costa Rica, Ghana
Entrepreneur: Arjen Bemmelmans

STARTRASH proposes the resolution of two major problems in developing countries – employment and waste – combining them into one approach. STARTRASH designs and produces fashionable accessories out of waste materials, and then distributes these products with a strong focus on branding and design.

Sustainable Farms

Sector: Poultry Hatcheries
Finance needed: $50,000 – $100,000
Country: Uganda
Entrepreneur: Sonja Copijn

Starting from a humble beginning earlier this year of just a 1,000 chicks, Sustainable Farms now sells one-day-old chicks to local farmers and traders. With investment they intend to expand the services they offer to farm research, in partnership with Wageningen University, advising local farmers and optimizing their production.


Sector: General
Finance needed: $10,000 – $50,000
Country: India, Indonesia
Entrepreneur:  Brigit van Daelen Daelen

Fairtrade and FMCG-retail are ready for the next step: (non-food) fairtrade gifts in high-traffic locations. The tinyTOKO fairtrade stall-in-store offers attractive, affordable gifts to a mainstream market, and provides income to producers in India and Indonesia.


Sector: Food and drink
Finance needed: $500,000 – $1,000,000
Countries: India, Suriname
Entrepreneur: Alexandre van der Moezel

Vrindavan are taking traditional Dutch festive treats to the Hindi speaking population of the world. Since 2011, Vrindavan, has produced chocolate Hindu letters, with the goal to make them a staple of religious holidays and family occasions.


Sector: Knitwear & Jewellery
Finance needed: $100,000 – $200,000
Countries: Bolivia, Peru
Entrepreneur: Saskia van Erven

Younica cooperates with craftsmen and women in Latin America to create original unique designs from authentic materials. Combining their idigenous cultural legacy and the company’s creative vision, they show that style and social impact can work together.


Sector: Footwear
Finance needed: $500,000 – $1,000,000
Country: Colombia, Philippines
Entrepreneur:  Jaap Spoorenberg

!SYOU is a unique brand of footwear produced in collaboration with DAC-listed nations and co-designed with local creative talent and international designers. !SYOU’s footwear is produced by local manufacturers, with locally sourced materials, and then sold with fair margins at a fair price globally.

Once again special thanks to all participants who helped make Ondernemen Zonder Grenzen 2012 so competitive, and good luck to all 15 pre-selected finalists who now face rigorous assessment by the jury as just five winners will be chosen.

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