ProFound team

The ProFound team consists of experts and advisers in development. We regularly collaborate with freelance consultants and trainees when and where required. Much of the work is done through teamwork, which optimises creative inputs and ensures the continuity of the tasks at hand. Feel free to connect with us!

Bert-Jan Ottens
Bert-Jan OttensSenior Adviser
Bert-Jan Ottens is the founder of ProFound – Advisers In Development and Senior Adviser. He is also the founder of Blue Rhino (rural finance) and Green Rhino Kenya (‘Healthy Green Choice’). He has a background in international economic development, and policy and management studies of developing countries.

Bert-Jan is skilled in developing multi-stakeholder approaches for sustainable and traceable supply chains from resource to market; designing biodiversity and livelihood related BioTrade development programmes; designing related micro/rural financing strategies.

He has more than 25 years of experience in developing innovative products and tools for organisations such as RVO/CBI from the Netherlands, UNCTAD BioTrade, SECO and SIPPO, UNDP, World Bank, FAO and IFAD, as well as for private sector actors and sustainability initiatives like FairWild Foundation.

Adriana Tascon
Adriana Tascon Senior Consultant
Adriana Tascon is a trade promotion expert and economist with an Executive MBA and 18 years of experience in the private and public sectors. Adriana has worked with SMEs in Colombia and Latin America as an independent consultant, assisting them in their international expansion into specialised markets and promoting sustainable trade and innovation throughout the food value chain. She worked for the Colombian government in the trade promotion agency Procolombia for 8 years, promoting agribusiness companies and products and specialising in matchmaking.

Within ProFound Adriana works in project management, new business initiatives like our Webinar Series, Trade Fairs & Matchmaking projects (B2B & trade platforms).

 Lisanne Groothuis
Lisanne GroothuisSenior Consultant
Lisanne is a skilled market researcher focused on developing strategic exporting and marketing guides for natural ingredient producers. An important facet in Lisanne’s work is to find value-added opportunities and promote sustainable trade in emerging economies. Her key expertise lies in the coffee and cocoa sector.

With a background in international development and journalism, Lisanne is well able to effectively synthesize and communicate complex information to any audience. Lisanne is based in Colombia, where she supports ProFound’s operations and project acquisition in Latin America.

Milena Solot
Milena Solot Communications & StoryTeller
Milena works on the interface of our Communications, Community Engagement & Impact Storytelling. She believes strongly that an inclusive and positive message is possible through transformative conversations among the community members we work with.

Milena’s work revolves around the following questions:
• How do we build & nourish a strong community?
• How to weave stories with a common ground and communicate about impact, and why?
• How do we create space for a meaningful dialogue to take place, and communicate effectively about transformative actions and impacts?

Milena has a background in communication and is a people-driven writer and researcher, enthusiastic and passionate about storytelling for sustainability and international development projects. She has joined us to weave ProFound’s narrative work, and to build our communication and community of best practices.

Juanita Rojas Cuéllar
Juanita Rojas CuéllarConsultant
Juanita is one of our consultants based in Colombia. Juanita studied Economics at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia. She has always been interested in development, social and environmental issues. Due to her work as an intern in a social program, she has gained experience in social project management.

At ProFound, Juanita works as a Consultant and is mainly engaged in activities related to market research, focussing on coffee and cacao.

Tjalling Meijer
Tjalling MeijerConsultant
Tjalling Meijer studied International Economics & Business, as well as International Development Studies. He has a strong interest in rural development, sustainable transitions, and social equity.

During his master’s degree, Tjalling conducted fieldwork in Cambodia to assess the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on smallholder farmers. This research was carried out in cooperation with Cambodia’s National Institute of Statistics and UN-FAO. Through this study, Tjalling gained a good understanding of the lives of rural communities, the rural and national agricultural economy, and regional trends.

At ProFound, Tjalling will start with market analysis work to get a fundamental understanding of the natural ingredients business segment, next to support to our trade fair work and communicating with entrepreneurs and support organisations.

Sonja van Rijswijk
Sonja van RijswijkFinancial strategies
Sonja works as a freelance finance & administration consultant for the international development cooperation sector and organisations that value sustainable development. She currently assists ProFound with the improvement of various financial processes.
Gustavo Ferro
Gustavo FerroAssociate Expert
Gustavo has over ten years of experience in a number of value chains, ranging from commodities to niche products. This has allowed him to build expertise in cross-cutting issues related to intervention design, strategic sector planning and market entry for natural ingredients. As one of ProFound’s trainers, he is highly skilled in building capacities and communicating with entrepreneurs and support organisations. Gustavo’s multicultural background helps him operate in different environments and countries.
Miguel Camacho
Miguel CamachoAssociate Expert
Miguel has been working with Business Support Organisations and Trade Support Institutions in one form or another for the past 25 years. He has developed and delivered capacity building and advisory programmes on different forms of organisational development in more than 45 countries for a large number of organisations, including ITC, SIPPO, the World Bank, GIZ, among others.

Miguel specialises in helping organisations and teams develop sharper focus, more robust processes and clearer priorities in their thinking and planning to ensure that in operations they optimise the use of their resources while achieving their objectives effectively. He has supported companies develop and implement their internationalisation plans through a number of activities, including market analysis and prospection, international marketing strategy definition, support to trade promotion activities, and others.

Lisanne Groothuis

“I find it exciting to promote resilient and fair value chains, while thinking about how trade and commerce can foster development and sustain biodiversity.”

Lisanne Groothuis
Kasper Kerver

“In my experience, entrepreneurs in developing countries have a great business spirit. We only need to show them the way and they will overcome the many challenges to reach their goals. It’s extremely satisfying to see how these entrepreneurs progress.”

Kasper Kerver
Bert Jan Otten

“What drives me is working with an inspiring ProFound team – it’s very exciting every time we manage to bring innovative biodiversity products and concepts to market;

Communities and entrepreneurs we work with are often faced with difficult or conflictive economic environments; we guide and empower them to a value proposition, based on quality and compliance; but most importantly: also with a story!”

Bert-Jan Ottens
Geertje Ottens

“I have always enjoyed working in the natural ingredients sector and in market development of biodiversity and community relevant products.

After I left ProFound in 2008, it has been inspiring to follow the activities and progress of the organisation until now. It’s not an easy market in which we operate, but I believe we have something valuable to offer!”

Geertje Otten
Jolanda Van Hal

“I believe in the power of strong teams. When we work towards the same goal, when we respect each other and can rely on each other, we can do great things.”

Jolanda Van Hal
Sonja van Rijswijk

“Throughout my career I have gained experience in various aspects of business. I get positive energy from working with numbers.”

Sonja van Rijswijk
Nicolás Caso, This Is ProFound

“I am passionate about local sustainable development. I believe that supporting SMEs on ethical and sustainable trade is essential to meet the SDGs and this is at the core of what we do at ProFound.”

Nicolás Caso
Faye Hartman, This Is ProFound

“I encourage market-oriented approaches incorporating social and ecological principles that bring about a profound contribution to local value creation.

It excites me to see how ProFound and its partners drive the transition towards a more fair and resilient natural ingredients sector.”

Faye Hartman
Gustavo Ferro

“I believe in the power of long-term strategies. The lifetime of our work cannot be limited to the lifetime of our programmes. Engaging with local stakeholders and building capacities are key factors in creating sustainable interventions.”

Gustavo Ferro
Miguel Camacho, This Is ProFound

“Promoting a fairer, more progressive trade and development agenda that puts nature, biodiversity and sustainability at the forefront is one of the key drivers of my career.  And to do that, I believe strongly in building up organisations that ensure those key concepts remain the key driver of commercial and entrepreneurial development, for the benefit of communities and nature.”

Miguel Camacho