Willem has over 19 years’ experience in establishing and managing social enterprises in Africa, in particular in the field of microfinance and renewables. In 2001, Willem co-founded ProCredit Bank Ghana and then later became the MD.
- I-DEV International – Patricia Chin Sweeney
- 4G Capital – Wayne Hennessy-Barrett
- INSOTEC – Carlos Andrés Holguin
- Sistema.bio – Alex Eaton
- ZOLA Electric (previously Off Grid Electric) – Bill Lenihan
- Twiga Foods – Peter Njonjo
- Twiga Foods – Grant Brooke
- SolarNow – Willem Nolens
- Sistema.bio – Camilo Pagés
SolarNow: Willem Nolens – Managing Director
He also co-founded Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI), a USD 125m private equity fund investing in microfinance Institutions in Africa and Asia and from that co-founded ASA International, a network of Greenfield MFIs.
In 2009, Willem managed the award-winning Rural Energy Foundation (REF) where he applied his microfinance and commercial expertise to streamline the organization and prepare for commercialization and growth. In 2010, Willem transformed REF into SolarNow, and he has served as CEO since its inception, leading the organization with specific responsibilities in business and financial planning, funding and investor relations. SolarNow sells high-quality solar systems to the entrepreneurial class in Uganda and Kenya, as well as provide a 24 months credit facility.
Willem holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Groningen.