DEAL stands for Development through Entrepreneurial Action Leiden. We are a student organization that promotes poverty reduction and entrepreneurship in developing countries. The foundation is committed to giving people with social and economic disadvantages the opportunity to improve their own living conditions. The organization was founded in 2006 by Jaap Jonkers. In 2009, the first project in Bolivia, Ruway Nanta, was officially up and running. This project was aimed at former prostitutes to give them an alternative means of income by providing workshops on how to make and sell clothing. Later, a sewing machine was bought and a permanent space so they became independent of third parties. Subsequently, the women run their enterprise, independently from us. Since then, the foundation has worked numerous projects aimed at reducing poverty. DEAL consists of around twenty dedicated students who work in different committees on the mission of DEAL.
Table Banking Method
DEAL promotes entrepreneurship through table banking. Table banking is a form of microfinancing where the group saves money together and decides how to invest their capital. Through mutual trust, participants help each other to achieve their goals. Participant groups usually consist of 20 people, but this number can be increased up to 40. DEAL focuses on teaching entrepreneurial skills and structural economic development. The strength of our approach lies in the fact that much can be achieved with little capital; with less than € 1,000.- a group of 20 participants can run its own enterprises with experienced guidance for one year. The participants are tutored by a local partner on how to save money and receive training on how to start and manage a small business. Currently, we are active in Zambia, Bolivia and Cambodia.
The foundation is led by the Student Directory Board which consists of a group of seven students. Namely, the chairperson, the secretary, the project coordinator, the assessor intern, the assessor extern, the treasurer and the acquisitor. The board meets on a weekly basis and ensures that the goals of the organization are met and implemented. The team is monitored by the Supervisory Board and advised by the alumni network. Likewise, each of the countries where we are active, has its own project group. Each project group is in direct contact with the local partner organization.
Our mission is to support entrepreneurship in communities. With the right training and support, we believe it is possible to fight poverty and empower local businessmen and women around the globe. Your help brings us one step closer to reaching our goal.