SYPO is a non-profit organization based in the Netherlands and in the United States. It was started in 2003 by Duko Hopman, after a backpacking trip through East Africa. Duko was struck not only by the desperate poverty of rural Africa, but also by the enormous potential. It seemed the main reason why people were poor was that they were poor the day before; stuck in a trap with nothing to invest in growth. He started SYPO in the Netherlands to fund entrepreneurial aid projects in Uganda. The first was a small dairy cooperative, giving cows to women who had adopted HIV orphans in their families but did not have enough money to care for them. The cooperative started a small yoghurt factory that created a constant demand for the milk. It grew to over 150 cows; 200 orphans received a stable home.
Over time, SYPO started focusing on microfinance, giving tiny business loans to women with business ideas. We see microfinance as a strong answer to the world's most pressing problem: that of extreme poverty. It is efficient, because every loan is repaid and can be used again to help someone else. It starts people on a growth path while maintaining their dignity - they repay the microcredits with interest and never feel like they are accepting handouts. If you donate to SYPO, your every dollar is used again and again to help the poorest of the poor, in a way that takes their own potential seriously.
To develop the microfinance project, the Dutch NGO 'Stichting SYPO' started (and owns) the company "SYPO Uganda Ltd." in Uganda. This company employs a team of young, highly talented and motivated Ugandans who run the daily microfinance operations. Each of the employees is responsible for her own zone, and works in the field to register microcredit applications, train borrowers, conduct business visits, collect repayments, make financial reports, etc. Outside of Uganda we work only with volunteers: the Directors (Duko Hopman and Emma Kandelaars) and Board of SYPO (chaired by Ger van der Bruggen), and volunteers helping with our fundraising. In 2017, SYPO U.S. INC. was started as a fundraising arm in the United States.
For a full overview of our team see here.