Johnson Center hosts impact investing expert

Wim Hasselman at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy
Wim Hasselman at the Johnson Center for Philanthropy
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Staff members from Grand Valley’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and organizations with ties to the philanthropic community were able to gain an international perspective on impact investing during a presentation by Wim Hasselman, a leader of the Dutch international relief foundation Woord en Daad (Word and Deed -- http://www.woordendaad.nl).

During his visit to Grand Rapids on Friday, April 12, 2013, Hasselman spoke to the group for about an hour and explained his organization’s approach to assisting people with basic needs, education, training, and business management. 

Word and Deed also works with a subsidiary organization called Incluvest that provides micro-loans to small-scale farmers in developing countries, but requires repayment over time, separating them from charities that operate on donations alone. 

Grand Rapids community members and Johnson Center for Philanthropy staff were able to learn about the difference between how the micro-loan aspect of Incluvest worked in concert with the charitable mission of Word and Deed, and what kinds of challenges the Dutch staff faced while managing the program.

Word and Deed and Incluvest have helped more than 60,000 children in 20 different countries gain access to basic needs. The mission of the organization is focused on education and providing a sustainable path to jobs based on skill development.

For more information about Word and Deed and Incluvest, visit incluvest.com.