I co-founded Village Enterprise Fund in 1987 and served as Exec. Director unpaid for the first ten years, managing a volunteer staff. During those ten years, my goals included laser focus on transforming lives for the poorest of the poor through microenterprise creation, and growing the small organization to a size where it could continue without me, sustainably. That goal was achieved, and after handoff to new leaders, I have not needed to be intimately involved for a long while. I just visited Kenya this summer to see with my own eyes what has happened in the past 15+ years. I am thrilled to say the focus on the poorest of the poor has not wavered, and in the meanwhile they have significantly expanded reach and innovated in many areas. The board, USA and indigenous staff, most new to me, are smart, dedicated and caring. They value honesty, integrity, open communication about issues, and leveraging world class practices, they study effectiveness and adjust course as needed. This shows in the transformed lives of 600k people. Children now attend school, one meal a day has become two or more, savings is reinvested, good record keeping is practiced, women become increasingly respected.
After volunteering with Village Enterprise I saw how passionate they are about their mission. This is an organization that is doing truly exceptional work to create a world free of extreme poverty and chronic hunger, by equipping those living in extreme poverty with the resources to create sustainable businesses.
I have worked as a volunteer with Village Enterprise for over a year and have been so impressed by the impact that Village Enterprise has on the extremely poor. Village Enterprise provides opportunities that people might not otherwise encounter. The staff is dedicated, knowledgeable, and motivated - I recommend this organization wholeheartedly!
I worked as a volunteer for Village Enterprise last summer and became truly inspired by the impact that Village Enterprise has made through their hard work and dedication. I found my experience to be very rewarding and loved the work environment. I had a chance to learn about their overall mission and was impressed by their work to further improve the effectiveness of their methods in creating sustainable businesses. Given the chance, I would absolutely work with Village Enterprise again!
I worked as a volunteer at a fundraising event for Village Enterprise several months ago and had a great experience. I had the opportunity to learn more about their goals and mission, and I could tell that the Village Enterprise team members are very passionate about their work. it truly is inspiring. Given the time and opportunity, I would love a chance to become more involved and volunteer again!
I did some pro bono web work for Village to make a couple of small updates and fixes to their website. Village Enterprise does great work, so for me it was an easy opportunity to do some good in the world while getting to know some awesome people. Would definitely work with them again in the future.
Interning for Village Enterprise during the summer of 2013 was by far one of the most rewarding work experiences for me thus far. What initially attracted me to Village Enterprise was its' genuine mission to help eradicate poverty. The organization's holistic approach towards addressing such a complex issue was very impressive. The staff's passion for the organization's mission was truly reflected in their motivation and hard-work. Many organizations attempt to live up to their mission and propose laudable goals, however Village Enterprise is definitely one that follows through with tangible results. Always trying to innovate its' practices while staying true to its' core mission and goals, Village Enterprise is a 27 year-old organization that has and will continue to make significant contributions towards eradicating poverty. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of such a dedicated and passionate team and highly recommend Village Enterprise.
Beyond the staff's dedication and passion to the organization's mission, what most impressed me was their true commitment to achieving meaningful results for the people they serve. Many organizations are content doing things the way they have always done them, and for some, impact seems to be a bit of an after thought. This is far from being the case at Village Enterprise. The people who benefit from the VE program are at the center of all decisions, and the organization is constantly measuring impact, evaluating results, and innovating to make sure that each life is impacted as positively and as much as it can possibly be. Additionally, though many organizations claim that they are serving the utlra-poor, Village Enterprise is one if the very few that actually does. Their targeting methods are so comprehensive and precise that you can be sure that your contributions go to those who need it the most.
This is a unique organization in many aspects, and I was very impressed with their work after spending only a short time there.
I worked as an intern in Village Enterprise's US office during the summer of 2012 and could not have been more impressed both with the amazing work they do and the passion of the staff who dedicate themselves to helping the extremely poor of East Africa. Village Enterprise knows how to target the people who need their grants the most, and they are able to offer extensive business training to help those people lift themselves out of poverty. I believe empowering people is the only way to help them change their circumstances, and Village Enterprise does just that. If you want to get involved with smart, passionate people who are making a positive impact on the world, Village Enterprise is the place for you.
Immersed in the staff’s passion and enthusiasm for economic development, interning at the US office for 6 months was incredible. My interactions with the staff in Kenya and Uganda were equally wonderful. Each member brings commitment, compassion, and cheerful energy to work each day. I highly recommend others to get involved in this organization’s efforts and experience the transformational work of Village Enterprise.
Village Enterprise’s unique program permanently lifts the ultra-poor out of extreme poverty. Equipped with the knowledge and resources to create sustainable businesses, individuals have the tools and confidence to earn steady incomes and provide for their families. While other organizations address individual poverty-related issues such as food insecurity, education, or health, Village Enterprise enables business owners to address all of these issues themselves with profits from their microenterprises. To me, this is the best way we can eradicate extreme poverty.
For East Africa, and all other countries to cultivate more food and not fabricate more clay bricks made of 100% fertile clay/mud soil. Please visit MRHP Tanzania website to know more on clay brick making burning their land fertile soil to make bricks for their sustainable houses. I am more than willing to offer free know how, technology transfer, even on hand personal expertize for a simple ready to go project that uses renewable biomass waste to fabricate building bricks made of 85% agriculture waste. God Bless email@example.com Inventor/Innovator Professional Ch.E. IMC Consultant
Review from Guidestar
This organization has an enormous impact the lives of the rural poor! I have seen their work and talked to their small business owners on two trips -- one to Kakamega, Kenya and southeast Uganda, and another to Dodoma, Tanzania. The volunteer Business Mentors -- all local village leaders working as teachers, pastors, health care works, or retirees -- are amazingly dedicated to seeing the small businesses succeed through their training and mentoring. This grassroots organization is doing things right -- leveraging local African leaders to serve their own rural communities and providing a sustainable solution to rural poverty!