Interview with Solifin’s new chairman

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Thomas Van Craen has recently accepted to become the first chairman of Solifin’s Board of Directors. I believe this is a great opportunity for our new network. Indeed, as CEO of Triodos Bank, Thomas can give more visibility to the project and, more importantly, foster a spirit of collaboration within the sector.

At the onset of this New Year, I have asked him 3 essential questions.

What is your vision for Solifin in 2020?

I fully endorse Solifin’s mission to be a network for all parties who want to make money work for a positive impact. In addition, Solifin wants to help sustainable entrepreneurs find their way to suitable financing (donation, capital, loan and everything in between) more easily. This can only be applauded! Together we can ensure that social entrepreneurship becomes the norm, especially for new businesses. After all, not only the government, civil society and citizens, but also entrepreneurs have a responsibility to actively contribute to the social transition we are facing.

What are the main challenges for Solifin in 2020?

Like any start-up, it will be important to focus on the core of the mission, and not be too distracted by all the opportunities that will present themselves. In more specific terms, this means promoting cooperation between the members, and facilitating access to finance for sustainable entrepreneurs. Step by step, not too slow but not too fast either. Solifin will only be successful if all parties involved continue to experience value in the cooperation.

What will be your role as Chair of the Executive Board in 2020, and what are your priorities?

I have experienced an enormous amount of energy and ambition in the team. I also experienced that the members really wanted to work together. My ambition is to contribute to setting up an effective organisation and governance. The better the consultation and decision-making structures, the more energy can flow to the realisation of Solifin’s mission. In addition, it is important that enough people know that Solifin exists, and know what Solifin stands for. It is the role of all members, including the chairman, to contribute to this. And finally I want to be available for Sevan and the team, they would need a sounding board.

Interviewed by Sevan Holemans on 27 December 2019.