Silvia de Vaan



Paris, France

Mentored by:

Jeannie Diefenderfer


Founder and CEO, SweepSmart

Silvia is the founder and CEO of SweepSmart, a social enterprise on a mission to solve the waste problem in emerging and developing companies through European waste management reinvented for the local context. SweepSmart has set up four Smart Waste Centers in India and Indonesia, in which former waste pickers collect and sort waste for recycling, supported with Europe-meets-local equipment, IT, and processes. Currently SweepSmart is building 12 other Smart Waste Centers in India, and is looking at expansion in Indonesia and to other countries.

After studying systems engineering at Delft University of Technology, Silvia worked for five years as a strategy consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in different industries and countries. She has worked as a freelance business developer for several social enterprises in the Netherlands and Tanzania, and currently trains other social entrepreneurs and young professionals. With SweepSmart, Silvia won the Partnership Verkiezing (2014), Cordaid Challenge (2016) and PwC’s Social Impact Lab (2017).

Silvia is passionate about impact entrepreneurship, circular economy, and renewable energy, especially for developing countries. She loves to co-create impactful initiatives, develop win-win partnerships, co-design the right solution, and build and coach them until they can run independently. She has lived and worked in the Netherlands, India, Tanzania and Madagascar.