Social Entrepreneur

Erlijn has established and led several social ventures, in the past 20 years. She has been with Ashoka, worlds’ largest international network of system changing social entrepreneurs and innovators, for nearly 10 years. Being a serial social entrepreneur herself, and having collaborated with many system changing social entrepreneurs, she has both hands-on experience as well as deep understanding of social and inclusive innovations. She knows system-change and applies an eco-system approach, when it comes to scaling impact. Her specific focus within Social innovation and Social Entrepreneurship worldwide, has been on micro-enterprise (network) development at the base of the pyramid, coupled with the potential power of businesses’ supply chains, specifically on topics of gender equality, health, and financial inclusion.

Micro credit for Mothers, program evaluation, Cambodia, 2007

Co-founder of Kula Loans International (founded in 2018)

Kula Loans International, a foundation investing in groups of enterprising people that jointly run a community-based venture, that fosters the well-being of their communities. Kula aims to be the incubator of a new concept of community-led, trust-based lending method for low-income people in low-resource settings. Currently operating in the North of India, Colombia, and Gambia.

(Co-) Director of Ashoka Nederland (2015-2018)

Ashoka Nederland is the Dutch chapter of Ashoka: world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs worldwide, with over 3,500 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries putting their system changing ideas into practice all around the world.

Transition Manager at Banking with the Poor (2011-2012)

Banking with the Poor Network is the Asia-wide microfinance network that works towards building efficient, large-scale sustainable microfinance organisations, through co-operation, advocacy and capacity building with the aim of achieving greater Financial Inclusion.

Manager at HandsOn Microkrediet (2008-2010)

“HandsOn Microcredit” was a Dutch MFI pioneering micro credit provision and business development services to starting micro entrepreneurs in the Netherlands. An innovator at the time, being the first MFI in the Netherlands.

Co-founder and director of Microkrediet voor Moeders (founded in 2005)

Micro credit for Mothers”, a Dutch MFI providing small loans in 8 countries in South & Southeast Asia to the poorest of the poor to invest in income-generating activities.

Micro credit for Mothers, field trip, Bangladesh, 2009