Mevrouw Spijker – Arnhem

Self-reliance and self-esteem for handywomen


Single women in underprivileged circumstances are often unable to independently find a job and/or do home improvement tasks. Mevrouw Spijker (Mrs. Nail) won the IGNITE Award for starting social entrepreneurs in 2015.


Every year, Mevrouw Spijker trains 6 women, who are distanced to the labour market, to be skilled handywomen. Through the guild system (master and pupil) they learn the profession by training-on-the-job, in a safe environment. After one year, they find paid jobs within Mevrouw Spijker's own building service or with other employers. Mevrouw Spijker also wants to share her knowledge and skills with customers, so that next time, they will be able to do simple jobs themselves. Women can also do DIY-courses at Mevrouw Spijker’s workshop in the city centre of Arnhem. Women on benefits only pay 25% of the training fee.  


Mevrouw Spijker’s aim is to increase women’s self-esteem and self-reliance, to stimulate their personal development and to improve their socio-economic position. ‘Mastering the job’ is satisfying and fosters problem-solving abilities. Hidden talents are addressed, new friendships are forged and networks are established. During the DIY-courses, women from different backgrounds and city districts meet, which encourages social cohesion.


Françoise Braun and Barbara Fijma


Labour Participation

Type of support

Non-Financial Support


2016 – 2018


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