I’ve created a unique approach on how pre-owned digital assets can spur on development based on three main points.
My ventures have always incorporated the re-manufacturing of ICT devices and recycling of e-waste. Used devices originally destined for the trash pile can have an enormous impact on the development of communities in different circumstances.
The second part of my focus is on facilitating local training and education on how to use these assets.
The last element is about incubating a whole new ecosystem of aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups that can use tech innovation for poverty alleviation around the world.
Close the Gap
Close the Gap was started in 2003 to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by large and medium-sized corporations and organizations to support projects in developing and emerging countries
WorldLoop was created in 2009 as the daughter organization of Close the Gap to offset the negative environment impact of e-waste. Its mission is to turn that e-waste into human and economic resources by creating responsible recycling systems in developing countries.
Close the Gap Kenya
Through private sector funding that we acquired, we are able to further develop our Close the Gap Kenya entity. This branch of Close the Gap is an impact-driven social enterprise located in Kenya. In Nairobi, we set up the Circular Economy Hub, which is a re-manufacturing facility. The goal is to re-use and manage e-waste and create job opportunities and better working conditions for local people. By 2022 we plan to have:
In Mombasa, we created an Innovation Hub with a focus on education, innovation and manufacturing. In this Hub, we will organise our Leap² Innovation challenges. The first Innovation Challenge that will be organised in Mombasa is focused on Innovative Light and Circular Economy Solutions. The kick-off event takes place on October 3rd.
So far there have been:
Board Memberships & other functions
- Member of the Board of Directors of SwahiliPot – Mombasa, Kenya. Swahilipot Hub is a community space in greater Mombasa, Kenya, that focuses with the youth majorly around technology and arts
- Director at BID Capital Partners BV – Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Through Close the Gap’s special purpose impact investment vehicle Close the Gap CVBA has joined as an anchor investor BID Capital Partners. BID is a commercial, purpose-driven enterprise with offices in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, facilitating access to finance for 240 SME’s in emerging markets. Olivier joined the Board of Directors of BID and is a anchor investor in BID both via CTG’s investment arm, as well in a private capacity.
- Founder and Director of Digital for Youth VZW – Leuven, Belgium. After the successful launch of the Belgian’ fourth world support by PC solidarity launched in 2009 by HRH King Philippe in Leuven, ten years later, a separate not-for-profit organization ‘Digital for Youth (D4Y)’ was founded to specifically focus on e-inclusion in Wallonia, Brussels and Flanders. The highlight of D4Y is the COVID-19 action where 15.000 laptops are being delivered free of charge to 15.000 disadvantaged youth in Belgium, that are in need for ‘distance learning’ computer devices.