Discovered Facts

  • Founded in 2014
  • HQ in The Hague, The Netherlands

Contact us

Marketing & PR


Caballerofabriek unit 66

Saturnusstraat 60

2516 AH Den Haag


Tel: +31 70 335 68 31

Hello, we are Discovered Foundation!

Discovered Foundation

Discovered Foundation is a non-profit organization, created with the goal of reducing poverty and encouraging self-reliance for people at the base of the pyramid, with a particular focus on women.

Discovered Foundation encourages entrepreneurship in developing countries and creating direct access to worldwide consumer markets for these entrepreneurs.

We believe that entrepreneurship and empowering artisans to use business as a force for good is the most sustainable way to reach a higher income.

Our ambition is to enable these entrepreneurs to escape poverty, take control of their lives, and restore pride in themselves.

Within this broad theme, Discovered Foundation will focus primarily, but not exclusively, on female entrepreneurs so that they can be role models for a new generation of young women and girls shaping their future.


We strive to improve the quality of life for the four billion people that live at the base of the income pyramid, with less than two and half thousand euros a year.


The foundation's goal is to stimulate entrepreneurship in emerging economies (according to OECD) so that artisans can enter the global marketplace and permanently increase their income. We define artisans as: “workers in a skilled trade (guild), especially one that involves making things by hand.” E.g., the Indian handicraft industry is the second largest source of income in rural India.


The foundation strives to achieve this by:

  • offering and organizing trainings, workshops, and facilities;
  • developing and offering tools, techniques, and assets;
  • providing microfinance loans;
  • and participating in partnerships.

What will the foundation be doing?

Discovered Foundation’s approach is to change artisan lives through business and thereby to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our focus is on contributing to the empowerment of artisans, the protection of traditional crafts & production methods, and sustainable production.

We strive to have an impact on income, work, sustainability, and culture with all our projects, partnerships, and through the Discovered community:

  1. Marketplace: our best means of improving artisan income is the marketplace The Discovered Foundation will work closely with the Discovered team to provide the best possible conditions and to keep the marketplace up and running.
  2. Academy: the foundation will focus on giving microloans, marketing training, stimulating the use of traditional methods, and providing means for sustainable shipping.
  3. Funding: we will set up local partnerships with governments, NGO’s and impact investors to offer resources to artisans.

Crafting a better world - projects

Discovered Academy

Empowering small businesses, impacting the lives of 1.000.000 people by 2025.

With the Discovered Academy, our goal will be to fulfill local needs and work with the resources that are already available. We will do the research and adjust our plans accordingly.

For example: if we find that artisans need better product pictures we will form a partnership with the Faculty of Arts at a local University. If they need help with banking services, we will contact Paypal to provide training. With this kind of smart organizing, we will minimise cost and maximise impact.

Training will be open to everyone interested in participating, not just those artisans who wish to sell their goods on Discovered.


In order to support starting entrepreneurs, we will invest in education and skills for women and men.

We will focus on making professional education and training available, ranging from workshops to intensive training, language courses, skills teachings, and online courses.

When possible, we will make use of existing programs, combining them with ours, and making them accessible in a way that meets the needs of the targeted artisans to create new opportunities.

The goal of our training program is to provide education only to those artisans who need it. In the first phase in India, Thailand, and Kenya the number of artisans will roughly be a fifth (50,000) of the total amount (250,000) of artisans we will bring online.


Small businesses need access to resources to grow, most often with a financial component. Applying for local loans, however, can be a complicated process.

Discovered Foundation will provide training to local partners (banks, Chamber of Commerce) to support small businesses in their growth.

After we have established our offices in India, Thailand, and Kenya in the first phase, we will attempt to assist 5,000 artisan-led microenterprises to apply for and receive loans with impact investors and NGO’s.


By creating a specific local toolbox, Discovered Academy will empower local artisans and small business owners to open their online stores.

The toolbox will give them access to everything they need to improve their product quality, sell online, ship to international customers, and grow their business.

In the first phase (2018 - 2019) we will empower 200,000 artisans in India, Thailand, and Kenya to open their online stores and grow their businesses. Since most families consist of 5 members, this will impact the quality of life of up to 1 million people.

Funding the Future

Empowering small businesses, impacting the lives of 1.000.000 people by 2025.

Discovered Foundation makes it possible to attract local funding for initiatives to support artisans. This option is not available to the Discovered Marketplace. An essential part of the Foundation's work will be to create supportive local networks to identify local artisans, as well as the organizations and businesses that can support them.

We do this by:

Establishing local partnerships

Once we are locally established, we will co-operate with local government and NGO’s to see what kind of initiatives are already in place. At first, we will work with these initiatives, again working from local need, setting up new training only in areas that haven't been covered yet.

Objectives: establish five key partnerships in India, Thailand, and Kenya (15 in total)

Applying for Grants

We will also apply for Grants from specific businesses, such as Google, to receive additional funding or means to localize artisans and make the tools they need available.

Objectives: Empower - train & educate - 5,000 artisan-led microenterprises to apply for and receive loans.

Philanthropy / donations

By connecting online shoppers directly to artisans, Discovered fosters mutual understanding and appreciation, which will open up new opportunities for local artisans. By asking our community of online shoppers to participate actively, we can tap into donations.

Other ways to attract funding is to focus on family offices and other philanthropic sources.

Who's involved

Chairman: Gijsbert van der Sleen

Gijsbert is the founder of Discovered – the first global marketplace where you buy handmade goods directly from artisans in upcoming countries. He has been working in the internet / online field for 15 years now and has ample experience in organizing networks.

LinkedIn profile

Secretary: Luan Nio

Luan has a background in consultancy and change management, optimization of company processes and innovation projects. She worked as a Fellow within Kiva’s Global Fellowship Program van Kiva through which she gained experience in coaching & training entrepreneurs at the base of the pyramid.

LinkedIn profile

Treasurer: Jacquelien Bunt

Jacquelien is a social entrepreneur with additional experience in mobile telecoms and the not-for-profit sector. She has lived and worked in Asia for 10 years during which she built up her expertise in selecting, managing & evaluating partners within her different professional work areas.

LinkedIn profile

Our board members do not receive any compensation for their involvement.

Contact details

Stichting Discovered Foundation is a Stichting under Dutch Law. Date of incorporation: March 3, 2015. RSIN: 854960697.

Address: Pannekoekstraat 98, 3011 LL Rotterdam, The Netherlands 
Tel: +31 (0)10 2887970