Far-off lands, other cultures. People who have a lot less than you. Meelunie’s CEO Marco Heering experienced it all while still young. “During business trips and through conversations with overseas contacts, I know all-too-well that not everyone on this planet is equally well-off. I also think it’s important to be able to do something for others.”
“To me, it simply goes without saying you help others to get on in life. But in my view, that support shouldn’t be completely without obligations. I think it’s only right that people should have to do something in return for the help they get. It increases their self-esteem and stimulates people. Which is why I think microfinance is such a fantastic concept. With it, you can achieve genuine structural improvement. So I really feel at home with Oxfam Novib’s entrepeneurs support program, whereby you help people make something of their lives. Repaying money you’ve borrowed, rather than just holding your hand out.”
“They tend to be small-scale projects. The steps you make aren’t massive. But all those entrepreneurs in developing countries are laying down the necessary basis for growth. And to cynics who say that none of it helps at all, I’d say: ‘Go check it out for yourself. Then you’ll see that it really does work.’ Certainly when the program is being driven by a reputable organization like Oxfam Novib. The nature of my work means that I know how trade flows work, and where the potential for new crops lie. So I can easily imagine that, in the long run, my knowledge and experience could also be of value to some of these entrepreneurs. In the meantime, the people working at our company think it’s wonderful that we’re supporting Oxfam Novib. I think it’s important they understand the purpose of our company. Which isn’t simply making a profit, but also to be socially engaged.”
Read the complete interview here.