Eindhoven, the Netherlands, July 9, 2020
A year after becoming a collective of PSV premium partners, Brainport Eindhoven is taking a new step. The five companies in this collective (ASML, Jumbo Supermarkets, High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Philips and VDL Groep), together with PSV and Brainport Development, have established the Brainport Eindhoven Partner Fund. This new regional charity foundation will help to improve the lives of disadvantaged residents in the Brainport area.
The Brainport Eindhoven Partner Fund will unite parties in a joint approach to several urgent societal challenges, such as poverty, vitality, unemployment, opportunities for children, and social cohesion.
Everyone is part of Brainport
“We live together in the Brainport Eindhoven region. It’s a successful region in which companies, governments and knowledge institutions work together on creating a bright future in an intense and constructive manner,” says president and CEO of VDL Groep Willem van der Leegte.
“Together we make the most complex machines and innovative products that make the world more sustainable, better and healthier. Nevertheless, there are people in our region who are struggling socially and do not always feel connected with our region. They do not benefit from our positive results, while their environment is changing.
“This Partner Fund is aimed at them: Brainport must belong to, and be here, for everyone, because everyone is part of Brainport. We are happy to commit ourselves to that.”
President and CEO of ASML Peter Wennink adds to this: “Companies in the Brainport region internationally belong to the absolute top and attract bright minds from all over the world to contribute to further growth and success. This creates a lot of prosperity for the region and for the Netherlands, but that is not enough. We must ensure that all residents can contribute and benefit. We will only be successful if we cooperate and win, both in business and at a social level, so that everyone will be a proud Brainport resident.”
Initial focus on debt
The fund is established for the entire Brainport region and the first social challenge that the Partner Fund will focus on is debt. Debt is often the beginning of a chain reaction of problems in households, such as poverty. In the city of Eindhoven, for example, about 3,500 people have debts, and planning agencies estimate that the number of people living in poverty will grow by more than a quarter by 2035. The economic decline as a result of the coronavirus crisis will add to that.
Deploying the Partner Fund could include support in debt management, but also budget support and arranging small credits and loans. The Partner Fund will not only contribute by giving financial support but also by arranging advisors and expertise through the Partner Fund's network. The fund aims to contribute by increasing the impact of existing social initiatives and structures.
Programs supported by the Partner Fund can cover all 21 regional municipalities of Brainport Eindhoven. The goal is creating a successful region for all of Brainport’s residents that is known for its talent, vitality and pride. These are also the themes that have been stated by the Brainport Eindhoven collective in their partnership with PSV.
Collaboration is strength
The chairman and figurehead of the Brainport Eindhoven Partner Fund is former Eindhoven alderman Staf Depla. “Collaboration pays off, with each other and for each other. That is the strength of this region,” says Depla. "All inhabitants should be able to benefit from that strength."
The other board members are Jennifer van der Leegte (VDL Groep), Hans-Martin Don (Leger des Heils), Hesam Fahimi (Markteffect), Marije Rhebergen (DLL) and Angelique Bellemakers (social impact advisor). The board is supervised by a supervisory board consisting of representatives of the founders.
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