Scaling for Impact
In the next five years, Village Enterprise will lift 700,000 additional Africans out of poverty. With strong results from our randomized controlled trial, we anticipate that the Village Enterprise model will be adopted by leading NGOs, microfinance institutions, and governments. The new Village Enterprise Accelerator will test, verify, and disseminate new innovations to alleviate poverty in an even more effective manner.
Village Enterprise reached the milestone of transforming 1,000,000 lives since its inception.
Our grants-based ultra-poor Graduation program recognized by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) and featured in New York Times.
Village Enterprise receives its first four-star rating from Charity Navigator. 30,000 businesses started. Awarded first USAID grant through a partnership with FHi360.
New Village Enterprise model launched to increase impact. New model includes rigorous targeting methodology, a one-year training program, and a savings program.
Dianne Calvi hired as the first CEO, and the first five-year strategic plan developed. New branding and website completed. Name changed from Village Enterprise Fund to Village Enterprise.
Collaboration in conservation launched, aligning our poverty alleviation work with the Jane Goodall Institute in Uganda.
Village Enterprise trains the BOMA Project in its microenterprise model.
First impact study completed; 10,000 businesses started since inception.
Kiva Co-Founder Jessica Jackley launches Kiva after interning with Village Enterprise.
Decision to focus efforts on East Africa. First paid staff hired in East Africa.
Village Enterprise Fund (VEF) was founded by Brian Lehnen and Joan Hestenes who were motivated by their Christian faith to help the poor start microbusinesses. A small, volunteer-run organization working through local churches, the Village Enterprise Fund provided seed grants to the ultra-poor.