International Economic Development,
International, Foreign Affairs & National Security,
Mission: To end extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation.
Results: Since our inception in 1987 , we have started nearly 40,000 businesses, trained more than 157,000 entrepreneurs and lifted over 800,000 people out of extreme poverty. Village Enterprise has empowered thousands of rural poor by tapping into the local knowledge and inherent creativity of villagers in rural East Africa to start new businesses, using their skills to capitalize on market opportunities. The types of small businesses started are agricultural and small livestock businesses, service businesses (tailoring, carpentry, bicycle repair shops), and retail establishments (household goods kiosks, used clothing shops, restaurants/cafe). After 4 years, 75% are still in operation.
Returns on investment in businesses are seen as businesses grow, value-added services are leveraged, and business owners are empowered to serve as leaders in their communities.
The results of Village Enterprise’s most recent independent Impact Assessment demonstrated that our business owners experience the following improvements in their standard of living:
• Food & Nutrition: 32% increase in food consumption, with meals consumed per day increasing from 1.9 (before) to 2.5 (after).
• Education: 40% increase in number of children in school, with enrollment increasing from 68% of school-aged children in school to 95%.
• Women’s Empowerment: 84% incidence of improvement in women’s sense of empowerment in at least one of the following qualitative factors: independence, spousal relationships, household equity, participation in activities, self-image.
Target demographics: people living in extreme poverty by creating sustainable businesses.
Direct beneficiaries per year: This year alone Village Enterprise will start 3,000 new microenterprises, train over 9,000 business owners and impact the lives of over 60,000 women, men and children in rural East Africa. Incomes from sustainable businesses enable families to send their children to school, improve their nutrition and healthcare, increase savings, and ultimately transform lives and communities.
Geographic areas served: Kenya and Uganda
Programs: • Business and Financial Education Training with Ongoing Mentoring
• Seed Capital Grants of $150
• Savings Groups of up to 30 Entrepreneurs