Hello, we are Discovered Foundation!
Discovered Foundation is a non-profit organisation that was created with the goal of reducing poverty and encouraging self-reliance for people at the base of the pyramid with a special focus on women. Discovered Foundation encourages entrepreneurship in developing countries and helps create 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 especially, but not exclusively, on female entrepreneurs so that they can be role models to a new generation of young women and girls shaping their future.
We strive to improve the quality of live for the four billion people that live in the base of the income pyramid, with less than two and half thousand euros a year.
The foundations 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 the:
— offering and organisation of training, workshops and facilities
— development and offering of tools, techniques and assets
— provision of micro finance loans
— and participation in partnerships.
What will the foundation be doing?
Discovered Foundation’s approach is developed to empower artisans to use business as a force for good. This helps to make the world a better place by delivering impact on 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. The way we do that is through our programmes and partners while involving the Discovered Marketplace community.
All our projects and results have impact on income, work, sustainability and culture. We strive to achieve impact in these areas through the:
Crafting a better world - projects
Empowering small businesses, impacting the lives of 1.000.000 people by 2025.
With the Discovered Academy our goal will be to fulfil local needs and work with 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 organising 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 enable starting entrepreneurs, we will invest in education and skills for women and men. We will focus on making professional education and training available. From workshops to intensive trainings, language courses, skills teachings and online courses. When possible, we will make use of existing programs and combine them, and make accessible in a way that meets the needs of the targeted artisans. This creates 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 we think 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 the resources they need to develop. Most often with a financial component. Applying for loans locally can be a difficult and complex process. Discovered Foundation will provide training with local partners (banks, Chamber of Commerce) to help develop small businesses.
After we have establishes our offices in India, Thailand an Kenya in the first phase we will attempt to assist 5,000 artisans led micro-enterprises 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. And 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 own personal online stores and grow their businesses. Since most families consist of 5 members this will impact the quality of live of up to 1 million people.
FUNDING THE FUTURE
Discovered Foundation makes it possible to attract local funding for initiatives to support artisans. This option is not available to Discovered. An important part of the work of the Foundation will be to create supportive local networks to identify and support local artisans and the organisations and businesses that can support them.
We do this by:
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 are not yet covered.
Objectives: establish 5 key partnerships in India, Thailand and Kenya (15 in total)
We will also apply for Grants from specific businesses, such as Google, to receive additional funding or means to localise artisans and make the tools they need available
Objectives: empower > train & educate 5,000 artisans led micro-enterprises to apply for and receive loans.
Philanthropy / donations
By connecting online shoppers directly to artisans, Discovered fosters mutual understanding and appreciation. This opens up new opportunities and perspectives for local artisans. By asking them to actively participate, we can tap into donations.
Other ways to attract funding this way is to focus on family offices and other philanthropy sources.
FURTHER READING: Foundation Strategic Plan 2018 - 2025
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 within the internet / online field for 15 years now and has ample experience in organizing networks.
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.
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 build up her expertise in selecting, managing & evaluating partners within her different professional work areas.
Our board members do not receive any compensation for their involvement.
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