About us


We drive growth and impact

True value is not only about money. For us it is all about contributing to a better world. We help to grow good local businesses as key actors in their value chains and simultaneously elevate people out of poverty, create career opportunities, and protect the environment. We thus create economic development with an economically sustainable business model.

To do so, we have found ways to sustainably invest in SMEs in emerging economies! We focus on co-entrepreneurship rather than finance alone.

We invest in agri-SMEs to drive sustainable growth

Local SMEs are the cornerstone to many economies and they have a unique opportunity for social impact and environmental protection. They have this unique position since they are based in local communities, are mostly owned by local community members, source from local producers, and employ local workers. They represent about 90% of businesses, more than 50% of employment worldwide, and contribute up to 40% of national income in emerging economies.

SMEs are drivers of economic development, innovation and employment. However, access to finance is frequently identified as a critical barrier to their growth. Therefore, investing in SMEs makes perfect business sense and drives sustainability so that everyone benefits.

Truvalu focuses primarily on agri-SMEs. Next to a solid return on investment, we achieve a 1:5 impact ratio, meaning that every 1 euro invested pays out 5 euros of local value annually.

We have a proven and sustainable business model

Our business model is build on four pillars:

  • we have an experienced global & local team with true ‘skin in the game’
  • we have more than 7 years of experience with successfully investing in SMEs
  • we are a scale-up with a solid governance structure
  • we have solid partnerships

A global and local experienced team

We have an experienced team of professional around the globe. Most of our management team members are equity partners in Truvalu; either in the holding or the local offices. We started Truvalu with our own assets. The equity partners are last in line when it comes to dividend payment and liquidation so we run the biggest risks. Our investors hold cumulative preference shares. For more information on our staff members in Bangladesh, Colombia, Kenya and Uganda, read more at our regions.

Our global and local management team:

Jaap-Jan Verboom I Director

Jaap-Jan (The Netherlands) is the founder, owner and executive director of Truvalu. Jaap-Jan is a pioneer and combines entrepreneurship & strategic vision with senior international management experience. Jaap-Jan’s drive is to create positive change for people through business opportunities. 

Machteld Ooijens | Director Global programs & partnerships

Machteld (The Nederlands) focuses on Truvalu’s corporate positioning, learning and building partnerships and programs. She worked with INGOs, governmental agencies and in partnerships with small and large private sector on social impact, responsible business conduct/ inclusive value chains. She is founder of the Dutch consultancy company Partnering for Social Impact and became a partner in Truvalu in 2023.

Andres Jimenez I Co-managing director Trulab Colombia

Andres (Colombia) is a seasoned business developer with a passion for entrepreneurship, social impact and enlarging opportunities for all. Andres is the Managing director/ Business Development Manager in Colombia since 2014, and he co-leads the merged Truvalu – El Lab team. The Truvalu – El Lab team operates under the name Trulab, managed by Santiago. In doing so we connect to two companies.

Peter Owaga I Managing director Truvalu Kenya

Peter (Kenya) started as the Managing Director in our Kenya office in 2024 and leads the local team. He has over ten years of investment experience, having led multiple transactions in East Africa; including a handful of start-ups with some successful exits.

Sharawwat Islam I Managing director Truvalu Bangladesh

Sharawwat (Bangladesh) is a seasoned investment banker with 20 years of investment experience. She joined Truvalu because of her passion to work with impact investments. Sharawwat is heading the local team.

Wim Hart | Advisor for corporate strategy and finance

Wim (The Netherlands) is a senior financial expert. he is the former co-owner of a Dutch audit and financial consultancy firm, and was the CFO with the NGO ICCO for ten years. He has a strong business development, corporate finance and audit background (RA). Within Truvalu (also as a partner), he focuses on Strategy, Finance and Control.

David Kamukama | Managing director Truvalu Uganda

David (Uganda) has been working for Truvalu since 2014 after his career at ICCO. David managed the Enable Youth program with 90+ rural youth entrepreneurs. He currently leads the local team.

7 years of experience with investing in SMEs

We have over 7 years of experience with investing in SMEs.

We have accelerated 400+ SMEs to make them investment ready.
400 +
Out of this group, we have invested in over 30 SMEs.
30 +

We are a scale up with a solid governance structure

Truvalu B.V. is a co-entrepreneur with subsidiaries for its activities in the Netherlands and in the countries of operation.

Proceeds from our investment portfolio and income from business development services and projects sustain our core business.

Want to see our timeline as a company? Please see here.

We have solid partnerships

Our partners share our belief to building fair and inclusive value chains. Together, we form an ecosystem to make sure we can provide our investees the necessary support and enabling environment. We collaborate and seek for more partnerships with the Dutch government, NGOs and companies and knowledge institutions. 

Building Better World (BBW) invests in scaleable businesses for impact. They bring finance, strategy support and a wide network to grow Truvalu’s impact.