„Business as usual is not good enough to solve today’s challenges.“ — Interview with Jeroen de Lange


Jeroen de Lange founded the non-profit 100WEEKS to break the cycle of poverty. The formula of success: Giving women a package of unconditional cash transfers and coaching.

As a diplomat at the World Bank, Jeroen de Lange was familiar with many development cooperation projects that could have been more effective. He was therefore looking for a new approach to help people free themselves from extreme poverty through their efforts. The innovative program of the non-profit organization he founded, 100WEEKS, focuses on the women within the village community because they can create a better future for their families if only they have the opportunity and the financial means to do so. Read what Jeroen has to say!


What problem do you solve with 100WEEKS? Why exactly does it need your solution?

We tackle extreme poverty by trusting people they know best: we give them unconditional cash + training. 

What did you do before you started the current project/company?

I was a diplomat and economist with the World Bank. 

What or who motivated you to become a social entrepreneur?

Business as usual is not good enough to solve today’s challenges. We need radical reframes and innovations. That is why I founded 100WEEKS.

Which of your achievements has been particularly memorable for you?

80% of the women who graduate from our program have escaped poverty.

Were there any especially challenging moments? What have you learned from these?

Building an IT platform was far more challenging than I had expected. Successful implementation of our program required a really deep understanding of the local and national political economy.

© Jeroen de Lange | 100WEEKS

„Business as usual is not good enough to solve today’s challenges. We need radical reframes and innovations.”
— Jeroen de Lange, Co-Founder

Where do you want to take your journey in the future and what are your next big goals?

We want to become THE go-to partner to implement cash + training programs at an exponential scale for anybody living in poverty, anywhere, anytime.

What do you wish you had known before you started your project/company? What advice would you give to others?

First who, then what – find the right people, hire them carefully, and dismiss them quickly.

What podcast do you listen to regularly? Which book is an absolute must-read for you?

“Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, cheaper than yours (and what to do about it)” by Salim Ismail et al.

What are your tips for doing good in everyday life? Where do you find it rather difficult to live sustainably?

Take a bicycle to work! I want to be more focused on buying only second-hand clothes. 

Which organization or start-up impresses you and is in your opinion a true role model?

De Groene Grachten, a social enterprise that makes old houses in Amsterdam sustainable.

Complete this sentence: The world needs more …

… people who want less stuff.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Keep going, it takes time and endurance to build something new!

Find out more about 100 WEEKS on the project page: