EMPREZA DIAK is a Timorese organisation that works to end poverty in Timor-Leste. We economically empower people creating new livelihood opportunities, providing innovative training and starting small businesses to build better futures. Since 2011 we reached 5,000 women and men in 10 municipalities across the country and we want to impact at least 2,000 more lives every year!
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Our founders – Empreza Di'ak
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Our founders
From London’s city to fighting poverty in Timor-Leste.
A dream made reality.
Empreza Di’ak means Good Business.
It was founded in 2010 by Filipe Alfaiate and Ariana Simões de Almeida, after experiencing first-hand the poverty and lack of opportunities preventing Timorese to live a dignified life. From a dream of two, it became the journey of many.

In 2008 Filipe and Ariana were living in London. He was a senior associate
at the international law firm Clifford Chance, she was working at Save the Children. Filipe was invited to work in Timor-Leste, as an advisor to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.

“Timor-Leste was part of my life and of my dreams” says Filipe. His Timorese heritage (his grandmother was from Timor-Leste) made the country’s struggle for independence and the post-independence challenges close to his heart. He wanted to be amongst those helping to rebuild this young nation. So in 2009 Filipe and Ariana moved to Dili.

Filipe was in the Prime-Minister’s Office, advising on international investment and the National Strategic Plan and Ariana was working with international NGO’s on children and women’s rights. The poverty and lack of opportunities they experienced in their work and their lives was something they had never seen before.

They also saw how charity was falling short on helping people break the cycle of poverty and living more dignified lives. Inspired by the work of BRAC in Bangladesh and Nobel Peace Prize Mohamed Yunnus, they launched Empreza Diak in 2010.

“This was the first Timorese NGO talking about economic empowerment, social business and inclusive markets. Everyone was focusing on education, justice and health. So finding support was not easy!”


For one year we worked without pay, using our savings to make this happen”


Friends and mind-alike people from Timor-Leste and abroad believed in this dream and helped pave the way to an award winning NGO that is reaching over 3,000 people and changing lives one day at a time. A special word of appreciation to his Excellency President José Ramos-Horta who, in 2010, awarded Empreza Diak’s first grant and was the first public supporter of our mission, both in Timor-Leste and abroad.