Entrepreneurship to End Extreme Poverty

Your donation equips the most vulnerable women, refugees, and youth in Africa to become entrepreneurs and break the cycle of extreme poverty.

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Ending extreme poverty. Building a sustainable future for all.

We believe it is possible to end extreme poverty. But climate change, conflict, and other shocks are threatening the progress that has been made. Backed by rigorous evidence, we have a solution that lifts families out of extreme poverty, improves their well-being and resiliency, and ensures a brighter future for generations to come.
 
Partnering with governments, nonprofits, United Nations agencies, conservation organizations, and private sector companies, Village Enterprise equips first-time entrepreneurs in Africa with resources and skills to start climate-smart businesses and savings groups.
 
Locally-led and community-based, we work with the most vulnerable women, refugees, and youth in rural Africa and equip them to adapt to the shocks of drought, displacement, the pandemic, and conflict. Join us as we build resilience and alleviate poverty by igniting the entrepreneurial spirit.

Breaking the cycle of poverty

Meet tata Margaret. Entrepreneurship not only changed her life, but altered the trajectory for her daughter and granddaughter. Village Enterprise has impacted the lives of more than 1.6 million people like Margaret and her family. Help us transform the lives of millions more!

Watch their story

Our Impact to Date

Results from two independent randomized controlled trials of the Village Enterprise program demonstrate that it is possible to sustainably and cost-effectively increase income, savings, assets, food consumption, and overall well-being of the most vulnerable populations in Africa.

274650

First-time entrepreneurs trained

80797

Businesses started

1656460

Lives changed

45%

Increase in income

275%

Increase in savings

Recognition for Impact and Innovation

Village Enterprise is the only nonprofit in the world to be recognized at the highest level by all ten of these respected organizations.

How We Will Lift Millions More Out of Poverty

Our goal is to end extreme poverty for 20 million people in Africa by 2030. We believe this is possible through bold decision-making, innovation, collective action, and advocacy.

Collective Action to End Poverty

We are partnering with governments, other nonprofits, funders, and private sector companies to scale up our entrepreneurship-driven and climate-smart approach to poverty alleviation and drive advocacy efforts to end extreme poverty in Africa. DREAMS for refugees, USAID Nawiri to reduce malnutrition, World Bank Kenya Social and Economic Inclusion Project, and UN Women Economic Empowerment through Climate-Smart Agriculture are just some of the exciting collective action initiatives that Village Enterprise is working on. We go farther together.

Partnerships for Scale
Smiling group of people

Replicating Our Climate-Smart Poverty Graduation Model

Based on rigorous, independent RCT evidence, Village Enterprise’s cost-effective poverty graduation model reduces poverty, promotes gender-equity, and ensures minimal environmental impact. We are rapidly expanding by both growing our organization to replicate our cost-effective model as well as providing technical assistance to partners that also deliver our model. Partner with us to end extreme poverty!

What We Do

Digital Solutions to Revolutionize Small Business Development in Africa

We are working with partners to develop and distribute digital tools to first-time entrepreneurs in rural Africa to achieve impact.

Digital Solutions and Innovation

Funding to Drive Impact and Scale

Building on our leadership and experience with launching the Village Enterprise Development Impact Bond (DIB)—the first in poverty alleviation—we are unlocking new, results-based funding for impact and scale throughout Africa.

Development Impact Bond

Our 2023 Annual Report

Because of your tremendous support, we transformed more lives in one fiscal year than ever before—over 200,000! Our annual report takes a closer look at a year full of transformation, and features stories of the extraordinary women, refugees, and youth who are breaking generational cycles of extreme poverty for themselves and their families.

Read the 2023 Annual Report

News & Awards

Dianne Calvi, Village Enterprise’s President & CEO, was recently on the Do One Better podcast with Alberto Lidji. Listen to the interview here.

We’re also thrilled to announce USAID’s Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) awarded $6.5 million to Village Enterprise to work with the Government of Rwanda to help end extreme poverty. This results-based grant is DIV’s largest in over a decade, and it will transform over 205,000 lives in the next three years.

USAID's $6.5M Grant to Village Enterprise

World-Class African Team

Passionate, talented, and committed to our mission, our team is the heartbeat of Village Enterprise. Each team member—97% of whom are African—exemplifies our core values of ubuntu, integrity, innovation, passion, and sustainability. We go far because we go together.

About Us

Let our entrepreneurs inspire you.

Bellancile’s business, a retail shop that she launched with two other women in Butare, Rwanda, has not just changed her life—it’s also changed the lives of her six children, her husband, and her business partners. Since opening their doors to customers, their retail shop is now valued at $600 USD—a 233% increase in just six months. Read Bellancile’s story to learn how she plans to diversify her business and pave the way for others in her community.

Read Stories from the Field