We support micro, small and meso enterprises (MSMEs) development in Cuba, providing interactive workshops, skill training, presentations, boot camps and events to the Cuban starting and established entrepreneurs. By empowering the entrepreneurs with our full entrepreneurial training program and practical tools we aim to create positive social impact for the entrepreneurs, their families and Cuban society.
To reach our goals we work in close cooperation with Cuban and non-Cuban organisations, trainers, experts as well as the (future) entrepreneurs in Cuba. We have a fantastic team of well-experienced business professionals and experts, highly motivated to assist the Cuban entrepreneurs with the development of their MSMEs. Our team members visit Cuba on a regular basis to provide workshops and training to the entrepreneurs, always in close cooperation with our Cuban counterpart ANEC.
Below our dedicated team members present themselves.
Amaya Garmendia: financial analyst and business valuator. I assist entrepreneurs with finding the right answers to their value related questions. What’s the value proposition of my enterprise? How do I increase the value? Or how do we create more value? My goal is to help entrepreneurs to make the right choices to enhance the value of their companies. I have an international background due to my Spanish nationality and have been living in the Netherlands for almost 20 years. I am multilingual in English, French, Dutch and Spanish (mother tongue) and I love to work with people and companies from different nationalities. I hold a degree in Business Administration from the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and a Executive Master’s Degree in Finance and Valuation from the Tias Business School of Tilburg University (the Netherlands). Since 2016 I collaborate with Credit4cuba helping entrepreneurs in Cuba providing workshops and training.
Elwin Giel: marketing expert and entrepreneur. I hold a degree in European Business Administration, studying business and languages in London, Madrid and Frankfurt. I am a great music lover and my first jobs were distributing newspapers and building a mobile disco for school parties. I also was a DJ. I have extensive experience working for large advertising and marketing agencies worldwide such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Interbrand. Next, as an entrepreneur, I spent 15 years in the world of leisure and nightclubs – organizing marketing and finance for a group of 22 venues. I was responsible for strategic city marketing in both The Netherlands and Turkey, organizing for instance festivals and merchandising programs. I was awarded as best entrepreneur in my city: The Hague, The Netherlands. Since 2007 I am the proud owner of The Penthouse at The Hague Tower – a project with Holland’s highest restaurant and club at an altitude of 135 meters, 20 Airbnb apartments and a business centre. I have been visiting Cuba for 15 years and I love the country! I am fluent in Spanish, Dutch, German and English.
“Elwin breathes marketing and uses his sense of humor to give the most practical advice to entrepreneurs and students in several countries of the world.”
Erik Tjaberings (1976), Economist, Urban Planner and entrepreneur. I have a strong focus on sustainable development, co-owner of RelacionArte, working for and with different Dutch companies on projects in Cuba. “Making things work” has always been my personal slogan. This applies especially for starting your own business. I intend to use my experience gained in the Netherlands, the United States during a part of my study and Cuba to support self-employed starting and further develop their profession. Living and working in Cuba has helped me a lot to see the opportunities and understand the challenges of self-employed within the Cuban market. By matching this experience with experiences gained in Europa and the United States, I hope to be beneficial for Cuban self-employed in succeeding with their ambitions.
Gerben Beijneveld: coordinator entrepreneurship programs and entrepreneur. Born in the Netherlands 50 years ago, married and have 3 sons. I received my MBA at the University of Groningen. My subjects of specialization are entrepreneurship, commercial- and financial management. At this moment I coordinate the entrepreneurship programs at the NHTV University of applied sciences Breda, and lecture on these same subjects. I provide courses and organize workshops on business related knowledge and skills, both for students and young startups. Together with my wife I run our successful enterprise in design, production and sales of leather bags. I am an entrepreneur since 2000 and have been involved with several companies as an entrepreneur since then. Before that I worked on different commercial- and management positions at a large Dutch multinational. In August 2016 I provided my first workshop to entrepreneurs in Cuba!
Jan Louvenberg: entrepreneur and director of an HR consultancy firm in the Netherlands. I have extensive management experience, worked as an interim manager on several occasions and have considerable experience in organisational culture and change management, with emphasis on governmental organisations and small scale businesses. In my role as management trainer, I supported teams and management development trajectories. In my opion the organisation’s strategic vision and objectives lead and drive development. On a daily basis, organisations are faced with the challenge of development and change, and each organisation is unique in its development. My enthusiastic approach to innovation is focused on talent management. Innovation and creativity are key factors of my work approach, even as decisiveness and energy. Since 2015 I am involved in the work of Stichting Credit4Cuba, supporting the workshop and training program in Cuba.
Judith Frankenhuis: entrepreneur and strategy-, innovation- and marketing-practitioner. I have worked across a wide variety of product- and service- sectors, helping market leaders and challengers with issues such as: growth strategy, innovation, positioning, brand strategy and consumer connection. As an entrepreneur my focus is on exciting ideas and opportunities where business and societal impact go hand in hand. For example, being passionate about sports, I joined the Dutch More Than Football Foundation for 2 years to help leverage the power of football for society. At ‘THNK, the School of Creative Leadership’ I worked as a facilitator of ‘The Challenge’, real-life open innovation projects on complex, societal topics (e.g. education, healthcare, energy). As a facilitator, I love to bring fresh ways of thinking and doing. In 2016 I got in touch with Stichting Credit4Cuba through my voluntary work for the Cuban field hockey federation. I share my life with Inti, a visual artist from Cuba, and our 2 children, Lauren (5) and Liam (2).
René Kerkhoven: consultant, entrepreneur and writer. I have been working as an independant consultant for (mostly small) companies and non-profit organizations during 25 years, specialized in strategy, marketing, innovation, brainstorm sessions and concept- and business development. I hold a degree in industrial design and as a creative, small scale entrepreneur I invented a very simple birdfeeder, to be put on windows, which I brought to the market through a royalty contract. Since then 180.000 BirdSwings, as it is called, have been sold. In 2010 I started writing and publishing my own books. This resulted in four children’s books and three books for adults. One of those books, The Rooster Whisperer, talks about my travelling experience on Cuba. One of my children’s books was translated into Spanish in March 2016 and is for sale in Cuba! The book is called Clamor en Dordrecht.