Maaike Veen

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 14

Maaike Veen
Freelance Fundraiser for Social Investors & Enterprises
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: Amsterdam

In geography class at a former Catholic Convent School in a small town in the Netherlands, I had just learned what the Iron Curtain was, when I convinced my parents to leave rainy Denmark and go to Berlin. Standing on a platform staring over the Berlin Wall, the injustice of holding a nation hostage stirred me deeply.

This sowed the seeds of my wish of becoming a journalist. I wanted to understand the world a little better and inform others. I had just started my economics degree when the Wall came down!

After a post-graduate degree in journalism, I emerged myself in covering the dot-com boom and ensuing corporate failures and accounting scandals for a global audience for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal.

Once working in London, I got offered the chance to become the UK & Ireland correspondent for a Dutch national newspaper. My desire to discover new places and contribute to society took me to Iraq to train local journalists.

It was through my side job as an investment writer that I got interested in impact investing and microfinance and got excited about the key role finance has to play as a force for good.

Back in Amsterdam after eight years in London, I embarked on a career change, working as a fundraiser for innovative NGOs that are providing access to capital and business support for entrepreneurs in developing countries. As a volunteer, I do the same for the Black Jaguar Foundation, because nature conservation is also close to my heart.

Currently freelance and in between jobs, I hope by participating in THNK I will open the next chapter of my journey to focus on what drives me and bring others along.