Africa Business Communities

[Interview] Gerrit van Doorn, CEO, Fair Business Institute, The Netherlands

Gerrit van Doorn is CEO ofFair Business Institute, a resource for resolving business development and relationship challenges in Africa.

Gerrit will participate in the Amsterdam Business Networking Event on March 8.

Would you please introduce Fair Business Institute?

Fair Business Institute always works from your (local) perspective. We choose to focus on developing your future business in three connected pathways:

Unlocking Business Potential

We support the development of sustainable businesses, businesses that are well connected to their clients, governments, employees and NGOs. It is a process of working together, bringing out the best in each other and making room for innovation. The focus is on bringing sustainability and building businesses that can cope with future challenges.

Transparent Enterprises

Transparency is a step towards future-proof organizations. We research the interests of stakeholders to bring potential risks (e.g. corruption, bribery, safety) to the surface. We are professionals and experienced investigators.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Learning will provide new perspectives. We have been trained to apply Insights Discovery on individual, leadership and team levels. We are developers of e-learning and Serious Games. Games that increase awareness of integrity and ethics are made directly available to our clients.

In which industries does Fair Business Institute operate and who are your clients?

Sustainable and social entrepreneurs, trail-blazers, NGOs, co-operations and companies operating in emerging markets all find their way to us. We choose not to work in a specific industry; innovation develops in networks and becoming specialized in one field would limit creativity and innovation.

We have been working with Dangote Cement, SABMiller, Sonatel, Liberty Global, SOS Childern Villages, Ethiopian Airlines, Total, Royal Haskoning and Boskalis.

Why should companies and individuals refer to your services?

Unlocking business potential and creating trustworthy relationships is our core business – relationship between a customer and the company, an employee and the company, a company in the context of society, etc. In our international encounters we found that the concept of European and African companies doing business together is perceived as risky business. For this reason access to finance is often difficult. The business risks associated with corruption and safety are real, but execrated. We bring these risks into new perspectives. Our way of working is creating transparency in both directions of the partnership, effectively addressing both the facts and the feelings.

A relationship that is based on mutual trust is valuable and naturally long lasting. This will encourage cooperation and bring about more transparency. The innovative strength and customer-care will increase because of being internally well-organized.

What can be done by entrepreneurs and governments to further the interests of international business?

Our government and companies are interested in innovation (IT, fashion, food, tourism), renewable energy, agriculture produce from social enterprises and easy access to markets. I strongly believe that each country/company should market themselves in an explicit way e.g., wildlife tourism, exotic fruit, spices or coffee.

Wildlife tourism is still to be developed; I think there are opportunities in several countries. Please show interest in the country you would like to export to. In the Netherlands we will be moving on from fossil energy sources; we must find new ways to contribute to these issues. In some African countries access to sea and air can be improved. I think there are some real opportunities. Dutch engineers are the best in that field and are willing to partner with you.

You will be participating in the Africa Business Communities Networking Event in Amsterdam on March 8. With whom would you be most interested in connecting, in terms of networking?

I would like to partner with Dutch consultants who need expertise in anti-corruption, stakeholders’ analyses, investigations services and soft skill training to increase awareness around integrity and self-consciousness.

African businesses that we can partner with to increase our understanding of the African market and can deliver our services are also of great interest.

What would you want other participants to contact you for?

Unlocking business potential for companies that are stuck in their current modus operandi. To analize impact of risk associated with corruption, investigations service and serious gaming. I also negotiated wildlife deals in the recently held conference Save Wildlife: Act Now or Game Over; I’ll be happy to share an update.

What can you say about the targets and plans of Fair Business Institute in 2016?

In 2016 we are working to expand into Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda. We are looking for partnerships in those areas.

How do you foresee The Netherlands’ economic performance in 2016?

The Netherlands keeps on develop well. There are plenty of opportunities in the fields I mentioned earlier. The Netherlands will also be looking for production facilities to manufacture hardware & fashion, farming and greenhouses but all in sustainable manner.

Which African countries do you predict will perform best in 2016?

Ethiopia will continue to grow their agriculture, transport and manufacturing sector. The Netherlands is well placed to support agricultural productivity, road and air transport network

Cote d’Ivoire, now Ebola has left the region, is back in business. Most encouraging is that the government took important steps to reduce political tension as well as foster reconciliation and social cohesion. With the help of the IMF, the country has been able to collect more taxes and control government spending, which has lowered the budget deficit including grants. By 2020, AEO estimates that the country will have achieved its goal to become an emerging nation.

Tanzania. I expect this country to develop impressively as the current government is able to create stability and minimize country and government overspendings.




Africa Business Communities Networking Event 

Tuesday 8 March 2016

5:00 - 7:00 PM 
Amstel Hotel | Amsterdam | The Netherlands

After great editions in HamburgLagos and Accra the Africa Business Communities Networking Event is returning to Amsterdam!

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