Founder, innovator & entrepreneur
Vestergaard Frandsen was still a small sewing operation in Denmark when Mikkel began working with the family business in the early ‘90s. Under Mikkel’s leadership, the company shifted its focus from textiles to innovation for disease and grew into a successful and impactful private organisation focused on improving global health outcomes. The company believes that a focus on humanitarian impact is not a cost to the company, but rather a driver of revenues. It is one that can be measured both in the bottom line and in its work setting a gold standard as a social good company.
Mikkel has overseen Vestergaard’s three major brands which have collectively contributed to disease prevention for more than one billion of the world’s most vulnerable groups:
Vestergaard is the largest producer of LLINs and has been credited as the main contributor to the 50% reduction in malaria from 2000-2015. The pioneer of the long lasting insecticidal net, Vestergaard has made and distributed nearly one billion nets.
The innovative insecticide-treated food storage bags have enabled 550,000 tons of grain to be stored safely from pests, improving food security and protecting valuable harvests.
In partnership with the Carter Center, more than 38 million LifeStraw® drinking water filters have been distributed with the goal of eradicating Guinea worm disease. Since 1986, the number of cases have gone from 3.5 million in 1986 to 28 in 2018. Thanks to the LifeStraw® water filter, Guinea worm could become the first disease to be eradicated without the use of a vaccine.
The “Vestergaard” name and business signify more than just the origins of family. The name echoes the Danish culture, heritage and way of life.
A keyword in Danish culture is “hygge” [hʊɡə], which can be roughly translated to high-quality social interactions or a shared experience that is safe, balanced and harmonious. At its core, the Danish word for “hygge” is about building intimacy and trust with others. Vestergaard was originally a family run, Danish company (Vestergaard-Frandsen) and this remains at the core of our brand. We will always aim to produce the highest-quality products, to build strong and close relationships with our teams and partners, and to strive to achieve the most positive humanitarian and environmental impact.