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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

TechnoServe

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, International, International Agricultural Development

Mission: We work with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries.

Results: In 2014, TechnoServe worked with enterprising people across 29 countries to build competitive farms businesses and industries. These efforts generated more than $61 million in financial benefits and touched the lives of 1.7 million people.

Target demographics: Enterprising men and women in the developing world.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2016, TechnoServe's work helped transform the lives of 3 million people* in 29 countries by targeting improvements in farms, businesses and industries.

Geographic areas served: The developing world in communities throughout Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Programs: Those that address market failures, the constraints that prevent a market system from operating efficiently. These constraints may include skills, technologies, availability of information, market linkages, access to finance, infrastructure, governance or policies. We address market failures in three ways: Develop capacity: We help individuals and communities acquire skills, share knowledge and apply the technologies needed to build successful farms and businesses. Strengthen market connections: We coordinate among industry players and connect emerging businesses and farms to capital, networks and suppliers. Improve the business environment: We encourage self-sustaining economic activity by addressing the policies, information and incentives that help markets function better.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is well-known in this field for its strong business-oriented approach to some of the most intractable development problems. Many development organizations out there claim to take a private sector approach, but TechnoServe is one of the few that has the business expertise (many former management consultants and MBAs on staff) and the track record to back it up.

I'm familiar with their coffee and cocoa work in Africa and Latin America, as well as their work in Haiti to bring a business element to a traditionally "charity-based" society. As someone in a "competing" organization, I still have to say that TechnoServe is one of the most effective organizations out there.

1 Arena P.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Hi, i just presented my project pitch 2 days ago and even if we are not the winners of the money, we are already winners of the knowledge and benefits that TechnoServe shares in the world. Thank you.

2 Vanessa Avila

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is a remarkable organization that is doing amazing work to help lift people out of poverty. The organization has been a real trailblazer in building social enterprise and agricultural development in poverty stricken regions all over the globe. TechnoServe invests in sustainable solutions to poverty and they have been successful in achieving their mission. In 2013 alone, TechnoServe’s work benefited 2.2 million people in 30 countries.

1 Laura Townsend J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is focused in its mission to help small famers improve their lives - and the lives of their families - by improving their businesses. The staff of TechnoServe is professional and committed.

Marco I.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with them for many months, and am glad to confirm the passion and professionalism of the team and the real, sustainable impact they achieve on the ground. TechnoServe is unique amongst its peers.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have such wonderful things to say about this organization! It is far and away the most impressive nonprofit with which I've been involved. I was a former VolCon in the Nairobi office three years ago. Technoserve does such fantastic things in the community because they create sustainable solutions to poverty - they are actually helping to create long-term solutions in the field vs. giving the illusion of helping. In other words, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime ...

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a faithful contributor to TechnoServe for almost 20 years. As my primary charity, I have maintained an annual level of contribution in excess of $2,000. What attracted me to TechnoServe was the concept of the leverage that my contribution would achieve, namely in magnifying knowledge for the benefit of an ever-expanding universe of entrepreneurs working through their own self-interest for the betterment of their families and broader communities. It's the difference between financing food baskets and food industries. I abhor waste, particularly of other people's money (whether that of taxpayers or donors). I am confident that TechnoServe's slim and effective management structure along with highly effective and dedicated in-country staff squeeze the maximum out of my contributions through the spread of non-perishable knowledge and expanding commercial relationships among recipients of their efforts.

Individual donors such as myself form a relatively small portion of the total funds received by TechnoServe and by offering my comments here. I encourage other private individuals to recognize this opportunity to join with the growing family of knowledgeable and astute corporate partners who are equally responsible stewards of their charitable assets.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined as a Volunteer Consultant in the India office for a year- absolutely loved my work- developing entrepreneurship in tibetan settlements in india and nepal, and worked with an amazing bunch of high-caliber folks, most of whom are now very close friends. It was challenging to create impact in a community victimized due to geopolitics, and my satisfaction saw me coming in full-time, as well as seeking out my second volunteer stint in East Africa [Malawi]

The three key draws are:
1. great work culture created by ambitious, accomplished and humble folks is a huge draw.
2. the unique assimilation of private-sector skills to development causes.
3. paramount impact, by connecting markets to smallholders or underprivileged.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is doing great things for people around the world. If you want the most impact from your donation, then TechnoServe is the place to give to.

3 Aditya2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at TNS in early 2013 - joining as a cynic about work, and large scale organizations in general. I had a highly transformative experience with them in East Africa - shifting me from traveler to social thinker to a social entrepreneur by the time I came back to India. I think the key ingredients were the amazing team I got to work with, the burst of cultural exposure/learning in Kenya and Tanzania, the level of expertise and insight in the agro sector and high-potential-for-impact solutions that I got to co-design with them. I would recommend this experience to anyone - even those who've already been part of the impact sector.

Thy P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great organization to work for. Great place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is one of only a handful of non-profit that manages to 1) work closely and collaboratively with the private sector and 2) draw extraordinary talent from the corporate world into its organization. The result is a place filled with people who want to change the world, but who are also relentless in their pursuit of efficiency and delivery. Nobody at TechnoServe believes in charity - empowerment is what it's all about.

Bart2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined TechnoServe as a volunteer consultant in 2012. Before that, I worked as a management consultant for 2.5 years. I was staffed on a project to assist 50 K farmers in Kenya and Uganda by creating a business plan for rolling out cooperatives.

The TechnoServe experience was incredible rewarding. First, it truly broadened my perspectives. For instance, I traveled to any small rural towns in Uganda and Kenya meeting incredibly inspirational local entrepreneurs and warm-hearted farmers. Second, it was personally very rewarding to be able to work on a social issue with impact that means a lot to many people. Third, the TechnoServe local teams were a joy to work with and very helpful. For instance, they went very far to help me with data gathering, setting up interviews and integrating me in the culture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TechnoServe has consistently impressed me, both as a volunteer as well as a donor. The organization has a tremendous impact on people around the world, by providing individuals with the tools (rather than just a charitable payment) that they need to lift themselves out of poverty--and remain out of poverty for the long-term.

James94

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had a great experience volunteering for TNS!
i was working on their behalf in value chain development for three months in Morocco, and I found the team was so committed, so results oriented, so responsible with TNS resources.
As a result, I was confident that my time was being leveraged effectively and that TNS could achieve the most impressive poverty-reduction outcomes.
Bravo to the team

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is doing some great work in Africa, Latin America and India and making a big impact to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.

Donor

Rating: 5

TechnoServe is amazing at bringing together business and development organisations and creating business solutions to poverty and have impacted hundreds of thousands of people through this approach in a fundamental, systemic and sustainable way that can transform their lives

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent 6 months in Mbabane, Swaziland as a TechnoServe Volunteer Consultant then the following year in Nairobi. In Swaziland, with a colleague I helped start a youth entrepreneurship program that is still going strong since late 2006, having now enabled several thousand youth become both micro-entrepreneurs of better employees with a strong business sense. In Nairobi, I worked with several programs. Young Women in Enterprise has been enabling several hundred young girls--both school-leavers and in-school--in Nairobi and central Kenya to similarly become micro-entrepreneurs or better employees with a strong business sense. In Nairobi I also worked with the Upscaling team to improve the capabilities of already-established micro-entrepreneurs so that they could grow their businesses to hire more local employees and have even greater community impact. Finally, also in both Nairobi and Swaziland, I peripherally worked with the Begin, Believe, Become business plan competition which sought out budding or early entrepreneurs, qualified the best candidates, trained them in a mini-MBA class then asked judges from the business community to vote for the best of the best, awarding them cash prizes and/or mentorship for their new enterprises. Again in 2012, I worked with the Managing Director of the youth program I helped to start in Swaziland to enable her to establish a better fundraising program to further grow the organization's impact. The local Swazi youth and Kenyan youth and early entrepreneurs were truly inspiring for how they overcame so many obstacles to become successful contributors to their local communities' economy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I intern with a documentary organization, the Image Expedition, that occasionally works with TechnoServe in countries that produce cacao and coffee. Everyone we've met with connections to TechnoServe, even by chance, has been phenomenal. They are always excited to make new connections, find creative means of improving a situation, and follow through.

The success of an organization will eventually always rest on the effectiveness of the people involved, and given our interactions with TechnoServe people so far, we feel inclined to believe TechnoServe will only continue to build on a great foundation of successful service work.

Client Served

Rating: 4

Amazing how you have worked together with our initiative to set up a Academy to train cocoa leaders in Cote d'Ivoire. We look forward to roll this out in other cocoa growing origins.