The Water Entrepreneur

Stichting de Eijkelkamp Foundation, founded in 2011, supported several agricultural projects in Myanmar and Guinea. Now we want to use all our knowledge, expertise and funds to face the biggest project so far. But therefore we need your help.

The objective

Support 40, preferably female, unemployed graduates to develop a water enterprise with which they offer the rural population of Benin sustainable access to safe drinking water. That is the aim of Stichting De Eijkelkamp Foundation’s innovative project, The Water Entrepreneur.

The idea

The idea behind The Water Entrepreneur is to create a situation in which income can be generated from making and maintaining shallow wells. This will provide homes in the Alibori region in Northern Benin access to safe drinking water for a reasonable payment. The Water Entrepreneur’s returns will then be distributed. A savings account will be established to enable the Water Entrepreneurs, the source and the drinking water pumps constructed over these to be maintained and, in time, to enable installation of new wells or development of new ideas. The entrepreneurs will also contribute a percentage of their income to Stichting De Eijkelkamp Foundation to create an investment fund to help train and support new Water Entrepreneurs.

The approach

40 unemployed graduates with soil and water knowledge will be selected from the local university in Benin to be trained to become Water Entrepreneurs.

Important factors:

  • Motivation to become an independent, small enterprise is crucial
  • Being able to communicate with customers and governments is a requirement
  • The Water Entrepreneur must be prepared to relocate to the rural area
  • The education/training must be followed and completed successfully
  • The necessary contracts for such things as partial reimbursement must be signed
  • They must be willing to stay in this business for the long term (at least 5 years)

Complete drinking water pumps including payment system will be developed.

  • A source filter in a manually-drilled 10-20m-deep hole
  • An above ground unit that, with the source filter, forms an enclosed unit to prevent contamination
  • Provision of a press pump, solar panel, water filters, storage tank and payment system
  • Cheap, fraud-proof, fool-proof, safe and easy to maintain


What is required

In total €1.7 million is needed to:

  • Develop a 4-week Water Entrepreneur training course (technical, commercial)
  • Salary sponsorship until the Water Entrepreneurs themselves attain a certain income
  • Finance 40 hand drill sets and 40 water quality and quantity sets
  • Provide transportation for all Water Entrepreneurs
  • 20 complete water well systems per Water Entrepreneur, 800 in total
  • The support, control and communications setup in Benin
  • Establish a good, secure and controllable Investment Fund structure (there are 2 local partners: Stichting Le Pont ( and Institut National de l’Eau.

Project financing

  • Subsidy (60%) from the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) (Dutch government)
  • Discounts on delivery of hardware by suppliers
  • In-kind contributions from organisations, companies and individuals
  • One-off contributions
  • Regular donations

How can you help?

Use the donation- and contact form below or donate directly on account number (IBAN) NL 13 RABO 0187 6795 92 and add the name 'The Water Entrepreneur'.

You have three options

  • You personally support a Water Entrepreneur for a period of 5 years (1.000, - euro per year)*
  • You donate an amount of money for a period of 5 years**
  • You donate an amount of money one-time**

* Once a year you will receive an invitation for a 'Benin benefit evening'. We will serve food and drinks from Benin and you will get a personal video message from the Water Entrepreneur you support. In addition, you will receive a quarterly update of the project, a Water Entrepreneur banner and online attention on our website and social media.
** You will receive a quarterly update of the project, a Water Entrepreneur banner and online attention on our website and social media.

If you would like to donate more or have another idea?

Please contact us via or +31 (0)6 23 78 95 88. As a sponsor you will be kept up-to-date on the Water Entrepreneurs’ development!

Further information

Contact Albert Knol via +31 6 23 78 95 88 or


Le Pont Foundation (NGO) - Founded in 2004. This foundation’s mission is to improve cooperation between Europe and Benin regarding rural development.
Institute National d’Eau Benin – In 2013 the governments of Benin and the Netherlands established this new National Water Institute, together with Abomey Calavi University.
Royal Eijkelkamp – Royal Eijkelkamp is able to make a continuous contribution to a safe and healthy living environment thanks to more than 100 years’ experience and expertise in soil and water research.

Who sponsors the Water Entrepreneur project?


Business relations

Albert Knol LEAP for helping with and sponsoring the project
Alco van Silfhout Giesbers Communication Group for helping with the flyer
Bas Kelderman S&W Drukkerij for printing the flyer
Chesron Tetelepta Wordhouse for helping with the translations
Fons Eijkelkamp Bax for legal and tax support 
Huug Eijkelkamp Fraste for sponsoring a water well drilling rig 
Leo Stroosnijder Rotary Zevenaar for sponsoring the project
 Jacquelijn Ringersma Computron for sponsoring ICT hardware
  CD Reclame for posters on the Water Access Point
  Symbus for sponsoring the project
  Staalmarkt for sponsoring the project
  Rotary Op Seyst for sponsoring the project
  Telecom Partners for sponsoring the project
  Creaforti for sponsoring the telephones for the Water Entrepreneurs
  Dalphin International Winterswijk for sponsoring the project
  Bohr Technik Rosswag (BTR) for sponsoring several Down the Hole hammers

Donation & contact form

* Marked fields (*) are required