Naomi Ryland and Lisa Jaspers met and became friends 10 years ago, whilst both working for Oxfam, one of the largest humanitarian and development agencies in the world. Inspired by some of the challenges faced by the non-profit world, they went on to found two of Germany’s most well-known social businesses: tbd* and Folkdays.
Knowing that an increasing number of people are looking for more meaning in their careers, but don’t know where to find it, Naomi founded tbd* in 2014 with Nadia Boegli and Nicole Winchell. tbd* has become Germany’s go-to platform for professionals looking for jobs with a positive social or environmental impact, enabling them to build their networks and exchange knowledge and services. Naomi also serves as a founding member on the board of SEND (Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland). Naomi studied at Nottingham University and the Alice Salomon University in Berlin. She is originally British and now, thanks to Brexit, also German. Berlin has been her home since 2008.
Lisa’s fairtrade company, Folkdays, works with artisans around the world to produce high quality fashion and homeware. Folkdays has transformed the image of fairtrade in Germany, making it attractive to a younger, design-conscious audience. Through her work she has generated an income for hundreds of people, many of whom live in the most remote and impoverished corners of the world. Before founding her own company with her co-founder Kimon Haars she worked as a management consultant. Lisa studied political sciences and development economics at the Freie Universität Berlin and the London School of Economics. She is a mother of two.