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Cordaid NL

The Netherlands


  • 23social cooperatives established by Cordaid so far
  • 19municipalities in the Netherlands are covered by the Cordaid program
  • > 200people with a distance to the labour market benefitted from Cordaid's assistance

Global Peace Index

21/ 163

GPI Rank

Political Instability

Safety & Security

Ongoing Conflict

Source: Global Peace Index (2016)

Country Office

The Netherlands flag The Hague, The Netherlands

Lutherse Burgwal 10
2512 CB The Hague
The Netherlands

Phone: +31 (0) 70 – 31 36 300

Program manager

Mieke van Tilburg

Cordaid in the Netherlands

810,000 people in the Netherlands (5% of the population) have difficulty to make ends meet. This is why, since 2014, Cordaid encourages cooperative entrepreneurship for people with a low income and poor job prospects. Together with partners, Cordaid has established 23 social cooperatives over the past three years.

Read more about Cordaid in The Netherlands

Where does Cordaid work?

Currently Cordaid supports social cooperatives in the following municipalities: Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Breda, Delft, Den Bosch, Doetinchem, Eindhoven, Groningen, Haarlem, Huizen Leeuwarden, The Hague, Venlo, Zaanstad, Zoetermeer and Zutphen.

17,0 Million


Rural population

Urban population

2.1% annual

GDP growth

2.5 per 1,000

Mortality rate, neonatal


Current situation

In the Netherlands over 800,000 people, including many refugees, live in poverty, are socially excluded, and have poor job prospects. They have difficulty finding regular employment, due to a lack of education, inadequate language skills, bad health or other issues. Many of them have been living on social benefits for years and feel side-lined in society. Yet, many of them possess the skills and talents to start their own business. They can create products and deliver services that are in demand.

Cordaid wants to support their ambitions by setting up and promoting social cooperatives. In such a cooperative, members can work together in one business, such as a catering, or each individual can set up its own business. In both cases the cooperative takes care of services like the administration and bookkeeping. Profits made by members can be used for training, or reinvested in the business. Participants can increase their professional skills and at the same they can set up and expand their business in a secured setting. This allows participants to become more self-confident, increase their network, and, eventually, run a successful business or reintegrate into the labor market.

Cordaid in The Netherlands

In social cooperatives, members can share their talents, improve their skills and craft their own future. Cordaid supports social cooperatives with:

  • the formal and legal establishment,
  • the financial administration system,
  • board composition,
  • consultation with the municipality,
  • support with the development of business plans
  • issues such as marketing and pricing.

We support cooperatives for two years. After this, they should be financially sustainable to continue their work without us.

Our cooperative entrepreneurship program aims to reduce the isolation and the poverty of a particularly vulnerable group of people. We help to bridge their gap to the labor market and allow them be part of society again.

Members of social cooperative “Ik Wil” in Eindhoven (© Ik Wil, Eindhoven)

Partners and donors

Tientjesacademie is Cordaid’s strategic partner in promoting the social cooperative model, and in developing and implementing training sessions for cooperatives.

Furthermore, we work together with the municipalities in which the cooperatives are established, and with local social entrepreneurs, who are supporting the cooperatives.

Cordaid’s social cooperative program in the Netherlands is supported by the Adessium Foundation. Two of the cooperatives we support (Ik Wil in Eindhoven and Co-Factory in Venlo) work with and for refugees in the Netherlands. These cooperatives are supported by the VSB fund.

(© Header image: Copernikkel / © Full width image: Marieke Viergever (for Afripan))

The Netherlands team

Mieke van Tilburg

Program manager

Marten Tjaart Raadsveld

Business adviser

Lennert de Vries

Business adviser

Mike Sips

Monitoring & evaluation