DEAL, which stands for Development through Entrepreneurial Action Leiden, is a student organization dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and reducing poverty in developing nations. Our foundation is committed to providing individuals facing social and economic disadvantages with the opportunity to improve their living conditions. Jaap Jonkers founded the organization in 2006. Since then, we have undertaken numerous projects aimed at poverty alleviation.
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 facilitated 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 primarily promotes entrepreneurship through table banking. Table banking is a form of microfinancing, where groups pool their savings and collectively decide how to invest their capital. This approach relies on mutual trust and support among participants to help them achieve their goals. Typically, participant groups consist of 20 individuals, but this number can be expanded to 40 or even 60. DEAL focuses on imparting entrepreneurial skills and facilitating structural economic development. Our approach excels in leveraging minimal capital; with around € 2,000, a group of 20 participants can establish and sustain their own enterprises with expert guidance for a year. Participants receive mentoring from local partners on savings strategies and receive training on starting and managing small businesses. Currently, our operations extend to 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 revolves around supporting entrepreneurship within communities. Through proper training and support, we firmly believe in the potential to combat poverty and empower local businesspeople worldwide. Your assistance brings us one step closer to achieving our ultimate goal.