Who we are

NewSilkRoads is your guide to talented people along the Silk Road.

Are you a creative looking for financial support in the form of grants, sponsorship or investment? Or do you want to engage your brand with large audiences in emerging markets?

We connect talented creatives from emerging markets to international companies and grants.

What we do

NewSilkRoads offers 2 services:

We assist you in obtaining corporate sponsors, grants and investment.

We connect you with creatives that get actively involved with your brand.

For example in Egypt, we involved local creatives with the Dutch brand Bavaria. See video.


The Team

  • Helga Delaere


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    Helga Delaere, currently based in Hamburg, has a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and a Master’s degree in International Relations at the University of Amsterdam. She co-founded NewSilkRoads in 2009. As the operational manager of NewSilkRoads and during previous jobs, Helga has been International Project Manager in a series or projects with multinationals and civil society organisations in both Europe and the MENA region. Examples are: Project Manager of the first Mediterranean Coworking Summit in Tunis in 2015, Coordinating the creative introduction of a new Dutch drink in Egypt via crowdsourcing, developing the creative skills of youth in the MENA region with the use of online courses on TasmeemME, or matching social investors with enterprises within the creative industry in the MENA region in cooperation with Hivos Impact Investment and the Mideast Creatives Fund.

  • Evert Faber van der Meulen

    Grant Manager

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    Evert Faber van der Meulen holds an Mphil in Islamic Studies from Oxford University and an MA in European Union Studies from Leiden University. In the past he lectured at Leiden University on EU external relations and has published extensively on energy relations. More recently he has investigated the development Islamic property law. He has lived and worked in both Cairo and Damascus. His fields of expertise include energy in the Middle East, Islam and sustainability, EU Middle Eastern trade relations and Islamic law. He speaks Dutch, English, German and Arabic.

  • Boudewijn Niels

    Board Member

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    Boudewijn Niels holds an LLM in Tax Law and an LLM in Corporate Law from Leiden University and studies Economics and Finance at the University of London. Boudewijn Niels is a sollictor (advocaat) with an international law firm and advises on tax and legal aspects of cross border mergers & acquisitions, joint ventures, restructurings and financing transactions. His fields of expertise include (international) tax law, commercial contracts and corporate and tax structuring of inbound and outbound (private equity) investments.

  • Arthur Steiner

    Board Member

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    Arthur Steiner studied Art history and  started various succesful companies in the Netherlands. In the wake of the merchants of old, Arthur Steiner traveled the Silk Road. He became inspired to focus his entrepreneurial energy on the wider Middle East. He lived and worked in Iran, Syria and Egypt. His fields of expertise include art history of the arab region, business trainings for the creative sector and alternative financial models for the arts.

  • Monique Doppert

    Media Advisor

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    Monique Doppert worked at the international development agency Hivos with a head office based in The Hague (The Netherlands).  She was responsible for the Hivos media and arts & culture programme in the Middle East. Therefore she has profound experience with the procedures of grant making; partner management and monitoring and evaluation. She extended her knowledge on M&E for media with a course at the Central European University in Budapest.

    At Hivos she coordinated the yearly extensive publication on internet governance in developing countries: GISwatch (Global Information Society Watch). Also she was part of the team that initiated and organized several Mideast Creatives events in Beirut, Tunis, Cairo and Amman.

    Monique started as a journalist at Folia Civitatis, the weekly for the University of Amsterdam. She has written a number of books, among others ‘Internetpioniers’ and the longread ‘Bassel: Behind the Screens of the Syrian Resistance’. This year she founded the start up The Prospector, connecting people and organisations in the Middle East in the domain of creative industries.


  • Lotte van Elp

    Creative Storytelling

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    Lotte van Elp holds a Master of Science degree in Conflict Studies and is currently based in Amsterdam. She is specialized in participatory research methods & creative storytelling. She also graduated in Peace Journalism (MA).
    Lotte has extensive work experience in Afghanistan, where she researched & developed Conflict Transformation programmes with local civil society organisations. She worked as a journalist in South Sudan for international media outlets and designed Peace Journalism courses for South Sudanese radio journalists.
    After long-term field postings, Lotte was assigned as the corporate journalist for Cordaid, one of the largest Dutch NGOs. She coordinated campaigns and the production of numerous multimedia stories from field offices and local partner organisations.

    Lotte founded Big Peace Thinkers in 2015, an organization to promote intellectual heritage of thinkers from conflict countries. The first project was about the Sufi poet Rumi and spoken word poetry for Afghan youth.
    Most recently, Lotte has been involved in Open.co, a start-up to support hub-makers around the world.


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