Machiel van Dooren

Director, MADE BLUE Foundation

Honoree Year: 2021

Alma Mater:

Maastricht University

School of Business and Economics

The Netherlands

Area of Impact:

CSR or Sustainability


Machiel van Dooren is the inspiration behind MADE BLUE, which is all about enjoying water and giving back. MADE BLUE makes water from water. Supported by over 350 companies, it is an entrepreneurial charity and social enterprise that generates funding to provide clean water where it is needed, while creating value for the businesses that support its mission.

MADE BLUE’s One Litre for One Litre program helps organizations measure the water savings realized by their products and services. It also provides a convenient process for companies to donate those savings and generate an equal amount of clean drinking water in developing countries. The program certifies participation, keeps companies updated on their impact, and helps them communicate their contribution to this worthy cause. To date, MADE BLUE has made available over 4.5 billion liters of clean water on behalf of 300-plus entrepreneurs and organizations.

Prior to founding MADE BLUE, van Dooren used his business education to found the impact ventures EsteamWork, OCO2, and Het Kaufhaus. In addition to his benevolent personality and heartfelt passion to help those less fortunate, his training and vast experience in social entrepreneurship laid the foundation for the success of MADE BLUE. By applying research methods to his enterprises, van Dooren measures the effectiveness—in terms of health and productivity—of their projects, setups, and business models.

MADE BLUE offers creative and economical ways for companies to conserve and serve. Van Dooren values and seeks the opinions and buy-in of the communities that the programs assist, resulting in innovative and sustainable solutions to problems the communities are eager to support.

Two of MADE BLUE’s innovative practices include selling water. On the donor end of the pipeline, the enterprise sells filtered water to offices and companies in the hospitality industry at cost and collects donations from them for the balance of the fair market price. That money is then put to use in MADE BLUE’s pilot project in Tanzania, whereby local entrepreneurs are set up with water vending machines and sell water with a price point and business model tailored to the local community.

Van Dooren has been active as a social entrepreneur and startup advisor since graduating from Maastricht UniversitySchool of Business and Economics. He also educates and inspires future business leaders through social media and presentations, such as his 2017 talk at TEDxFryslân titled “Doing good by doing business.”

In this TEDx talk, van Dooren describes his journey from Maastricht University into the world of fair trade and entrepreneurship, all with the goal of making a positive impact on the environment. He speaks to the audience about how to start and grow a responsible company, and he discusses responsible consumerism and the disparities of global water usage. Van Dooren goes on to share the MADE BLUE model and describe how he encourages companies to conserve water and invest the savings in projects that make fresh water available, affordable, and sustainable in developing countries.


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