Peter Kutemann, President
ML: How and when did Monaco Impact come to be and how many people are involved in the running of the non-profit?
PK: Myself, Barend van der Vorm and Laura DeVere formed Monaco Impact on December 28, 2008. Barend stepped down later because he moved to Canada and Laura decided to dedicate more time to her own philanthropic activities. They were replaced by Geraldine Gazo and Marilyn Santino, who share the same values as the founders. Recently Donald Anderson also joined the board of Monaco Impact.
ML: You are President of Monaco Impact. How did you end up in Monaco? Your company Dietsmann was a sponsor of No Finish Line 2016.
PK: I formed my company Dietsmann (dietsmann.com) in 1977 in the Netherlands and opened an administrative bureau in Monaco in 1981. I choose Monaco for its geographical location, its multinational and multilingual population and fiscal status. Especially the last factor was important, since our operation and maintenance activities of oil and gas and power producing facilities are taking place outside Europe in Africa, the Middle East, CIS countries, as well as Russia and Latin. Initially I did not become a resident but in 1990 I became a resident of the Principality.
ML: What is Monaco Impact’s mission?
PK: Our mission is to facilitate and federate charitable initiatives, organisations and institutes in Monaco in order to put Monaco on the map as a “World Centre of Philanthropy” and, by so doing, contribute towards a positive perception of Monaco throughout the world.
Monaco Impact’s Vision is to promote Monaco as a centre of committed global citizens, local philanthropists and social impact investors through education, collaboration and the sharing of innovative solutions to global challenges.
ML: Can you talk about your Projects with the Prince Albert II Foundation, WaterAid and International Solidarity Organisations?
PK: On November 18, 2014, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (PFA2) signed a partnership agreement with Monaco Impact. Since Monaco Impact and the PFA2 share common goals, we decided to provide financial support to this three-year project led by the Foundation, which is being carried out in collaboration with WaterAid.
The project is about the promotion of better water resource management in the Oromia region of southern Ethiopia, that will not only improve the supply of drinking water but will also provide sanitation facilities for over 12,000 people in the region. Another project that Monaco Impact supports and promotes is a Mobile Cassava Processing Technology that has proven to improve the lives of thousands of the poorest rural farmer families in Sub-Saharan African countries.
ML: Tell us about DADTCO, and how it ties in to Monaco Impact?
PK: DADTCO of The Netherlands (dadtco.nl) has developed mobile starch plant technology for cassava producing farmers in various Sub-Saharan countries.
Cassava is the major starchy food crop in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). It provides the largest calorie intake of the people. Africa, the world’s number one cassava producer has not developed any cassava processing industry because the very perishable cassava roots need to be processed within 24 hours of harvesting. DADTCO invented a mobile cassava processing factory able to process cassava roots into food grade starch at village level. This breakthrough technology bridges the gap between smallholder farmers and large food companies.
DADTCO’s business model has already proven a success with SABMiller, replacing imported malted barley with cassava starch in Impala beer. Also with Nestlé (Maggi) and Unilever (Knorr/Royco), replacing imported starch. Substituting expensive imports like wheat flour with local cassava products has the potential to create a stable income for millions of farmers in SSA. The now proven business model has to be rolled out in all of SSA for which additional financing is required. That is why Monaco Impact organised an information cocktail at CREM to share this groundbreaking development that is now open to investment with Monaco residents.
ML: What is your fundraising project for 2017?
PK: Presently Monaco Impact is setting up an incubator project with the IUM. The aim is to support IUM graduate young entrepreneurs to set up a business in Monaco within the Social Impact space. Monaco Impact will facilitate to assist in writing a business plan, business model, market access and funding. As such, we are actively support a number of start-ups that, we hope will succeed putting Monaco on the map as a fertile ground for start-ups.
ML: Since its inception, what are some of the milestones of the association?
PK: Monaco Impact is a not-for-profit organisation. Its costs are completely funded by its founder(s)/members. Its success is measured by its contribution to the Monaco Social Impact Society. As such it is difficult to measure the results in figures. Our aim is to increase year by year our involvement in Social Impact projects, as we have done over the past years.
ML: Does Monaco Impact host any fundraising events? How can Monaco residents support Monaco Impact?
PK: Yes, Monaco Impact facilitates fundraising for good causes by hosting information events, as we did for example with the WaterAid project and the Agricultural Development initiative. Monaco Impact welcomes all Monaco residents who share the same values and who believe they can contribute to the mission of Monaco Impact to join us as member. Information can be found on our website Monaco-Impact.org.
ML: Do you feel the outside world sees Monaco as a “World Centre of philanthropy”, and why is this a goal of the association?
PK: Today the word “philanthropy” is more and more replaced by the word “Social Impact”, which I believe defines better its purpose to contribute to a better world. HSH Prince Albert II, but also the Grimaldis, has been historically deeply engaged in charitable causes through the PFA2, Amade, Red Cross, etc. Monaco as a small sovereign nation, together with all its residents, have a larger share in the world social impact space than its size would suggest. This shows how Monaco’s image is closely linked to philanthropy. That is how Monaco will be perceived. That is the mission of Monaco Impact.
ML: Why is philanthropic giving essential in our humanitarian role?
PK: Society has given some of us the opportunity to gain a substantially larger share of wealth than others who have been less fortunate. In order to show our gratitude to society, we should share some of our blessings with those who are less fortunate. This can be in the form of providing better living conditions, providing opportunities, education, health, etc. The next most gratifying thing in life after earning money is sharing money.
Article first published December 18, 2016.