Programme: MSc in Strategic Management, 2007
Currently: Founder of Good Hospitality, and general board member at Niños de Guatemala
Nominated by: Lucas Meijs, Professor of Strategic Philanthropy
Marten Dresen is not afraid of combining hard business with the soft sides of running an international aid NGO. After managing to complete a law degree at the University of Nijmegen followed by the MSc in Strategic Management at RSM – both cum laude – he set up Niños de Guatemala. The Dutch-Guatemalan non-profit organisation designs and implements projects to develop a new generation of Guatemalans, who can contribute to the financial and social growth of their country.
After completing his law programme, Marten worked for Houthoff Buruma as a paralegal. Following his degree from RSM, he took on the roles of country manager Brazil and new markets in South America, East Africa and India for Dockwise. He also worked as an assistant professor at RSM. After that, he used his management skills for his volunteer board job for Niños de Guatemala before founding and running Good Hospitality, a social enterprise that sets up hotels and schools in Latin America.
Marten contributes a lot of his success and the opportunity to make a difference to what he learned at RSM. “RSM gave me tools and opportunities to combine the things that I am active in,” he says. His nominator, Professor Lucas Meijs, is impressed that Marten combined a fast-track business career with running a successful new kind of international development initiative, and that he has now moved to this new world of social enterprise. “Marten can combine all kind of worlds,” says Professor Meijs. “He is an extremely good example of being business-oriented and focused while addressing the need to make a difference and live in the future.”
Marten says that to make things work it is important to be open for new things and do the right thing better. “I want to combine doing good and doing business,” he says. “It’s all about doing what you love, having fun and changing things for the better.”