Programs Run by Nonprofits and other Community-based Organizations
GlobalGiving has been helping fellow nonprofits to implement projects by bridging them with donors and companies since 2002. It has provided locally based organizations worldwide, such as in Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, the avenue to utilize resources such as tools, training, and support in making a positive impact in the world. One of its funded projects is Entrepreneurs End Poverty which focuses on training young Accelerate Fellows from Africa for nine months to develop, manage, and scale a small to mid-sized enterprise.
Accelerating Growth through Connections
Agora Partnerships, Latin America
Agora is a regional non-profit organization that creates inclusive prosperity across Latin America by accelerating the growth of purpose-driven entrepreneurs through access to knowledge, networks, and capital. The organization promotes social innovation in traditional small and growing businesses towards greater economic, social, and environmental sustainability and cultivating entrepreneurial ecosystems grounded in collaborative action and impact.
The Adventure Project
Adventure Project, USA
The Adventure Project works in developing countries seeking partnerships with organizations creating jobs for their communities. Some organizations include KickStart, LifeLine, Living Goods, Water for People, and WaterAid. The organization chooses partners based on their measurable social impact, proven track record of success, and readiness to scale. Since its inception, the Adventure Project has empowered 798 people to find a job. This has led to thriving local economies, improved environmental conditions, and reduced mortality rates. In Kenya, cooking over an open fire poses a huge health risk to both people and the environment. Now, stoves are made and sold locally. Masons create stoves, and vendors earn commissions for their sales. And because they’re using 50 percent less charcoal, families save 20 percent of daily expenses. In other countries, villagers have been trained as healthcare agents, selling more than 60 products at affordable prices. These healthcare agents also care for more than 800 people in their communities.
African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM)
USAID and Western Union Foundation
The African diaspora is a deeply committed yet largely untapped source of innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to poverty and economic development in Africa. Through the African Diaspora Marketplace (ADM), USAID, Western Union, and the Western Union Foundation seek to support the entrepreneurial activities of the African diaspora community in 19 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP)
U.S. Department of State
The African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP), launched by the U.S. Department of State in July 2010, assists women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa. These small and medium business owners are transforming their societies through economic development and social advocacy in their communities. AWEP alumni have created more than 17,000 jobs and established 22 women's business associations across Sub-Saharan Africa that are transforming societies and spurring economic growth.
Alleviating Rural Poverty through Microcredit and Entrepreneurship
Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM)
Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia is Malaysia’s largest microcredit organization. Their objectives are to: a) reduce poverty among poor and low-income households in Malaysia by providing microcredit financing to finance activities that can increase and increase income; b) provide financial facilities, guidance, and ongoing training to entrepreneurs from poor and low-income families, and c) produce entrepreneurs from the poor and low -income groups. Since its inception in 1987, it has disbursed more than RM2.3 billion in loans to 262,000 borrowers. AIM claims to have the world's highest repayment rate, at 99.2%. Learn more.
An AIDS-Free Future
PEPFAR: DREAMS Partnership
DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) provides a comprehensive, multi-sectoral package of core interventions to address key factors that make girls and young women particularly vulnerable to HIV. These include structural factors, such as gender-based violence, exclusion from economic opportunities, and a lack of access to secondary school. DREAMS layers multiple interventions at once so that adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) are surrounded with critical support to keep them safe from HIV and other risks. DREAMS is a flagship partnership between PEPFAR and private sector partners: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, and ViiV Healthcare. DREAMS is implemented across 15 countries and conducted in close collaboration with its partners, experts, advocates, and adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). To date, PEPFAR has invested nearly one billion dollars through DREAMS, reaching millions of girls and lifting up their families and communities. DREAMS drives a greater global focus on the unique risks and opportunities experienced by AGYW, and drives partner governments to renew their commitments on gender equality and its impact on adolescent health and development. Additionally, DREAMS enables multilateral organizations and non-governmental organizations to advocate more successfully for greater attention on and investment in AGYW. Critically, AGYW are meaningfully engaged at every step of DREAMS for their unique insights and leadership.
Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets as a way to create prosperity for the world’s poor. There are, of course, many worthy approaches to poverty eradication and economic development. But ANDE members share the view that targeted support for small and growing businesses, SGBs, represents the most effective way to create the kinds of jobs that can lift families, and entire nations, out of poverty. ANDE members support “the missing middle”—the small and growing businesses that are the engines of growth in emerging markets, and have the potential to address critical social and environmental challenges.
ACDI/VOCA offers extensive networks and community relationships for corporations, foundations, or investors. We understand rural markets and appropriate technologies and can make the business case for reaching and including marginalized groups.
We help communities produce products that meet market standards, empowering them to earn livelihoods, provide for their families, and educate their children.
Has expertise in agriculture, economic growth, resilience, finance, and equity and inclusion. Their work increases income, improves livelihoods, and creates opportunities for those traditionally excluded. The organization connects people and businesses in systems that increase incomes, create jobs, and expand opportunities. Their inclusive market systems approach improves conditions and incentives for markets to work better for the poor and marginalized. They facilitate private-sector partnerships, support entrepreneurship and workforce development, and advance an improved business-enabling environment.
Be the Change: Careers & Degrees to Fight Poverty
Student Training and Education in Public Service (STEPS), USA
STEPS runs an initiative called "Be the Change", a series of activism guidebooks on their website that shows everyday citizens how they can help solve some of the world's biggest issues. This includes a guide focusing on ending poverty. The goal of the guide is to educate people about the poverty cycle that so many Americans are trapped in and show ways they can get involved to help break it. Readers can learn about volunteer, donation, and advocacy opportunities, along with degree and career paths where they can have an even bigger impact. The link can be found at https://www.publicservicedegrees.org/be-the-change/fighting-poverty/
Best Resources for Black Entrepreneurs
This is a compendium of resources available for Black entrepreneurs in the United States provided by OnlineMBA.com. https://www.onlinemba.com/resources/minority-entrepreneurs/
Brian Hamilton Foundation
The Brian Hamilton Foundation aims to equip aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners with the knowledge and motivation vital to starting, running, and growing their businesses. The foundation believes in providing entrepreneurship for all. Hence, its programs also cater to people wanting to move up the social and economic ladder. Part of the program includes speaking to business and entrepreneurship groups, connecting with experienced entrepreneurs, and providing free online courses.
Building Entrepreneurship Systems Training (B.E.S.T.)
Alternativ Global Entrepreneurs
The Building Entrepreneurship Systems Training designed by Altnerativ caters to non-profit leaders, business owners, board members, staff, and volunteers. It aims to teach them how to develop and grow entrepreneurial ecosystems and mainstream Alternativ’s Business Essential Program in their own communities to be independent of foreign aid and build a sustainable future.
Business and Entrepreneurship Training for Agri-entrepreneurs
Foundation for Community Development Association (FCDA), Cameroon
Foundation for Community Development Association (FCDA) is a non-profit organization in Cameroon, Africa, whose mission is to support agri-entrepreneurs to generate seed capital for investments in agri-businesses across Africa. Their principal goal is to train and generate capital for entrepreneurs in the agriculture industry with the aim of poverty alleviation, job creation, and wealth creation. Some of the services offered by FCDA include but are not limited to business development training, new venture financial management, seed and organic fertilizer acquisition, digital financial inclusion, micro-enterprising, market research, and capacity building. FCDA seeks to improve farmers' yield by half yearly, urging households to develop startups, increase productivity, save money, alleviate poverty, and create job opportunities.
Businesses in Fragile Communities
SPARK -- Europe, Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa
SPARK is an international organization that helps young people, particularly women, and refugees, to study, work and grow their own businesses in fragile communities. By uniting the private sector, local government, and other key partners, SPARK builds enabling environments that allow young people to start and scale up their own businesses. Their programs are founded in collaboration with local partners, built from their expertise and knowledge of local conditions to ensure maximum impact in the local job market. Together with their local partners, SPARK empowers students and entrepreneurs through the implementation of six services: (1) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) coaching (2) scholarships (3) internships (4) business support centers (5) cooperative support and, (6) entrepreneurship summer courses.
Business Essentials Program
Alternative Global Entrepreneurs (Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Haiti, Egypt, DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan, India, Ethiopia, Nepal, Thailand)
The Business Essential Program offers high-impact training and mentorship to individuals, organizations, and businesses who want to educate and support local entrepreneurs. In this program, Train-the-Trainers, individuals are trained to adequately deliver the entrepreneurial context in the specific context and community. The program counts with a curriculum that holds 16 sessions over 30 to 40 hours. Additionally, the coursework includes content and interactive activities, and skill training. Alternativ figured out their success with their program with constant tracking and feedback. They have great insight to continue expanding and fighting toward eradicating poverty cycles.
The Business Development Center (BDC) is a Jordanian non-profit organization dedicated to advancing sustainable economic development through impactful employability and entrepreneurship training programs. Functioning as a local catalyst for inclusive regional economic growth, the BDC is recognized for its commitment to fostering community-led solutions. The BDC strategically directs its resources where essential services and livelihood opportunities are lacking, often in remote and hard-to-reach areas. Since its establishment in 2004, the BDC has reached over 4,000,000 individuals in the region. This accomplishment is attributed to collaborative efforts with international donors, non-governmental organizations (INGOs), and United Nations (UN) agencies.
The Business Place Network
Business Place, South Africa
The Business Place is a network of small business support centers. TBPN offers entrepreneurs the convenience of one-stop shop walk-in centers strategically located across the country. Upon entering one of the centers, entrepreneurs are immediately directed to reception, where an experienced staff member ascertains their needs. They are then referred to an appropriate co-location partner at that specific network, where they receive targeted assistance. Core services offered to entrepreneurs include coordinated business support, incubation; mentorship, market linkages; and financing interventions. TBPN also assists entrepreneurs with tender application processes, assisting them to unlock opportunities in the public and private sectors.
Business Solutions to Poverty
TechnoServe is a catalyst and partner for transformative, on-the-ground, market-based solutions to poverty. They are a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, they work with hardworking men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities. Their successful entrepreneurship portfolio is based on four key pillars: Careful adaptation; Market-driven approach; Effective capacity development; Rigorous measurement, and continuous learning.
Capacity Building of Young Entrepreneurs in the Americas
YLAI Young Leaders of the American Initiative/Fellowship -- Latin America, Caribbean, Canada
YLAI empowers entrepreneurs to strengthen their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. Since the initiative’s launch in 2015, more than 1,000 YLAI Fellows from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada have expanded their leadership and entrepreneurial experience through fellowships at businesses and organizations across the United States. Through the YLAI Entrepreneurial Leadership Curriculum and individualized professional placements, YLAI Fellows have accelerated their commercial and social ventures’ success and developed specific action plans to implement upon return to their home countries. YLAI Fellows built networks, linkages, and lasting partnerships to attract investments and support for their entrepreneurial ventures.
Capital for Entrepreneurship in Eastern Africa
DOB Equity -- Kenya, Tanzania & Netherlands
DOB Equity invests in businesses that positively contribute to a more social and sustainable society and deliver long-term profitability. They work with entrepreneurs to mitigate potential risks related to environmental, social, and governance matters while creating value and social impact for the company and its communities. DOB Equity is an evergreen fund with all proceeds from investments being reinvested, making DOB Equity a true long-term growth partner for its portfolio companies.
Catholic Charities of Omaha Microbusiness Program
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha, Inc (Nebraska, USA)
The Catholic Charities of Omaha Microbusiness Program is a three-year project which offers an online entrepreneurial curriculum to an average of 315 low-to-moderate-income adults seeking to launch their small businesses. This program has impacted the lives of more than 650 Nebraskans by opening more than 150 businesses and creating more than 160 jobs. This program's success also lies in the curriculum, tailored to its students' demographics and socio-economic characteristics. The program is open to both English and Spanish-speaking students.
Children’s Education Development Fund– Lwannunda Community Development Initiative
The Children’s Education Development Fund– Lwannunda Community Development Initiative is an umbrella organization for multiple development projects in Uganda. Initially, it started with the volunteering of local leaders. However, it has expanded to various communities that need to empower its youth to address their disadvantages. The disadvantages range from health and education to sustainability as the program addresses and targets topics covering young people with HIV/AIDS, educational disparities, and lack of healthcare assistance. The initiative has volunteering programs such as the Student Enterprise and Innovation, which influence young Ugandans to consider entrepreneurship as a route out of poverty. Additionally, the initiative includes teacher programs, which consists of helping Ugandan teachers develop classes. There are opportunities for individuals to also interact with the existing projects led by Ugandans.
Cordaid Investment Management
Funding the underprivileged
Cordaid Investment Management supports microfinance institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises globally. With 25 years of experience as an impact-first investor, its goal is to build a brighter future for underprivileged people in different parts of the world through creating sustainable livelihoods, deploying growth capital, investing in the most underserved economies, catalyzing system change, and creating partnerships.
Dignity Unbound: A Whole New Approach to Solving Poverty
Atlas Network (USA)
Atlas Network increases global prosperity by strengthening a network of independent partner organizations that promote individual freedom and are committed to identifying and removing barriers to human flourishing (https://www.atlasnetwork.org/). Their vision is of a free, prosperous, and peaceful world where the principles of individual liberty, property rights, limited government, and free markets are secured by the rule of law. Atlas Network cultivates a network of partners that share this vision. To accelerate the pace of achievement by their partners in local communities, Atlas Network’s unique "Coach, Compete, Celebrate!" strategic model inspires the partners to improve performance and achieve extraordinary outcomes. They provide world-class seminars, workshops, mentoring, and other learning opportunities that inspire professionalism and build community among independent partners. Atlas Network also offers grant and prize competitions that fuel their partners' efforts to develop, innovate, and succeed. They foster camaraderie and stoke ambitions among the partners by celebrating their greatest accomplishments through events and media outreach.
The DREAMS initiative, a groundbreaking collaboration between Village Enterprise and Mercy Corps, seeks to redefine support for refugees through its innovative model, Delivering Resilient Enterprises and Market Systems (DREAMS). This pioneering initiative combines Village Enterprise's poverty graduation program with Mercy Corps' expertise in market systems development, equipping refugees with the essential skills, resources, and market access needed to establish sustainable businesses and graduate from extreme poverty. Launched in the Bidi Bidi Refugee Settlement in Uganda in the fall of 2022, DREAMS has rapidly expanded and is poised for a launch in Ethiopia, aiming to reach over 33,000 households across both countries and positively impact more than 200,000 lives. In the face of the global refugee crisis, where over 10 million refugees depend on humanitarian aid, DREAMS provides a long-term solution by offering savings groups, business training, mentorship, and connections with private companies. The initiative is not only transforming the lives of refugees but also aims to serve as a model for ending extreme poverty globally, presenting a fresh perspective on collaboration within the development sector. With an emphasis on sustainability and independence, DREAMS addresses the average 17-year displacement of refugees in Africa by helping them tap into their communities, fostering diverse businesses ranging from chicken breeding to selling home goods. The initiative, recognized as one of Fast Company's 2023 World Changing Ideas, has already supported 1,200 households in Uganda since January 2021, launching 400 businesses in its initial phase and is actively working on expansion, exemplifying a transformative approach to poverty alleviation.
EFour stands for Empowering Entrepreneurs in Emerging Economies. This woman-owned company provides innovative remote business coaching services to entrepreneurs in low-income countries. Clients are organizations and programs that support micro-entrepreneurs, such as governments, donors, incubators, NGOs, local small business programs, chambers of commerce, foundations, and universities. EFour pioneered the use of remote business coaching pre-COVID. Mentorship and advisory services are available to entrepreneurs in any country over the internet, utilizing one-to-one counseling or small group programs tailored to business owners’ needs.
WIPO Training and Mentoring Program for Indigenous Women Program
World Intellectual Property Organization (https://www.wipo.int/tk/en/women_entrepreneurs/) offers the "Training, Mentoring, and Matchmaking Program on Intellectual Property for Women Entrepreneurs from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities." The Program aims to encourage women's entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity related to traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions by strengthening the capacity of indigenous and local community women entrepreneurs to make strategic and effective use of intellectual property tools in support of their entrepreneurial activities. The Program provides participants the opportunity to: a) build capacity in intellectual property and acquire the skills necessary for an effective use of the intellectual property system, including in the digital economy; b) acquire basic knowledge of related fields useful in an entrepreneurial context, such as business modeling, marketing, and digital storytelling; c) benefit from the support of a mentor to further develop and implement projects and businesses based on traditional knowledge and/or traditional cultural expressions that have an intellectual property component; and d)meet amongst Program participants, share and learn from each other's experiences, but also meet potential partners who can provide support with the implementation of the intellectual property components of their projects and businesses.
Entrepreneur Accelerator Program
Millionaire Mastermind Academy
The Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, housed by the Millionaire Mastermind Academy, is a program that is specifically designed for minority women who aspire to be entrepreneurs. For fifteen weeks, the program covers business training, access to business networks, an inclusive business environment, networking with fellow entrepreneurs, and a safe space to raise questions and expand one’s knowledge.
Entrepreneurial Development in Southern Africa
Allan & Gill Gray Orbis Foundation, South Africa
The Allan & Gill Gray Orbis Foundation invests in the education and development of individuals with entrepreneurial potential within Southern Africa. The foundation was established in 2005 to attack poverty and unemployment by educating and nurturing high-impact South African entrepreneurs. The Foundation takes a holistic approach to entrepreneurship development. There are three critical aspects: cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset, the practice of developing entrepreneurial skills and competencies, and the context of understanding the African and global ecosystems.
Entrepreneurship du Monde
Entrepreneurs du Monde, a French NGO established in 1998, is dedicated to fostering social and economic integration in disadvantaged communities across Haiti, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, and France. The organization's mission is to empower individuals in precarious situations, living below the poverty line, or exposed to various risks such as health, environment, economic activity, energy, and discrimination. With a focus on creating sustainable impact, Entrepreneurs du Monde operates through four key development strategies: social microfinance, access to energy, support for the establishment of very small businesses (VSB) and access to the workforce, and agro-entrepreneurship. The NGO actively nurtures local organizations in each country until they achieve self-sufficiency. Currently, Entrepreneurs du Monde boasts a presence in 12 countries, employing nearly 800 individuals, as it continues to champion the improvement of daily lives, independence, and overall well-being for individuals, families, and communities.
Entrepreneurial Thinking in Africa through Education, Business, Media & Finance
Tongston Entrepreneurship Group
Tongston is a leading pan-African group driving entrepreneurial thinking through education, business, media, and finance for Africa's sustainable socio-economic development, leveraging on its four integrated subsidiaries: Tongston College, Institute, Media, and Ventures. Tongston's products and services include Business Secondary Schooling, Consulting, Curriculum Design, Development & Integration, Training, Research, Media, Capital, Structuring, Business Development, and Asset Management for students, educators, schools, corporates, governments, and MSMEs. Tongston's vision is communities without unemployment, underemployment, unemployability, and over-government dependence. Two essential products are: (1) Tongston Entrepreneurial Technical and Vocational Education (TETVE) product to tertiary students (polytechnics, universities, mono-technics) and vocational & enterprise institutions. Premised on Tongston's proprietary entrepreneurial development model, the TETVE product is aimed at producing Tongstonintrapreneurs and entrepreneurs to lead Africa's sustainable socio-economic growth and development through (i) Developing entrepreneurial thinking capacity in learners through Tongston Institute (ii) On-the-job and classroom-based technical & vocational skills training delivered through partner organizations and Tongston (iii) Providing access to media, business development, and investing services through Tongston Media and Ventures to select entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs. The product is split into a formal and informal track. The formal track targets students at the tertiary level (with a focus on public sector institutions that lack funding and industry partnerships for scale), while the informal track is for those in non-formal and informal education, much of which live below the poverty line, are currently not in any form of education, employment or training, and/or are illiterates; (2) Tongston Introductory Entrepreneurial Educators Course is a short course that provides a unique opportunity to develop the key competencies required to embark on the journey to becoming an Entrepreneurial Educator and the need for Entrepreneurial Education for personal, cultural, socio-economic and sustainable development.
Entrepreneurship for Positive Social and Environmental Impact
Ygap -- Africa, South Asia, and Australasia
Ygap is an international organization aiming to advance global equity through inclusive entrepreneurship. By offering the necessary support and resources, Ygap strives to enable all entrepreneurs to create, launch, scale, and sustain businesses that are making an impact, thereby maximizing their full potential and improving their communities in the process. At the micro-level, Ygap works to increase the capacity and agency of entrepreneurs to run successful businesses through programs that support market-based solutions that address social and environmental problems within their context. At a macro level, Ygap identifies system-level barriers to support inclusion and access within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, then works with stakeholders across sectors to co-design and implement solutions to address them.
Entrepreneurship Training, Access to Capital, and Spirituality for Small Business Owners
SINAPIS -- Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda
SINAPIS is a community of faith-based entrepreneurs, mentors, and investors committed to empowering entrepreneurs professionally and spiritually through intense training and a global support network so they can grow to the next level and transform the world around them. SINAPSIS is an elite program that is available to everyone. It provides a 4-month MBA alternative training program, access to capital, ongoing opportunities, and a vibrant community to those with the drive, heart, and dedication needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Their primary focus is on small and growing businesses, typically with 5 to 250 employees, as these companies fuel the economy. SINAPIS is growing globally and has teamed up with like-minded partners who have expanded SINAPIS' programs into new markets in Brazil, Ghana, Liberia, Egypt, Burundi, and Mongolia.
Empowering African Entrepreneurs
Elumelu Foundation, Nigeria
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) is an African private-sector-led philanthropy focused on empowering African entrepreneurs. The Foundation was founded in 2010 by Tony O. Elumelu, CON, an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist who is passionate about Africa's economic development. Their long-term investment in empowering African entrepreneurs is emblematic of Tony Elumelu's philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions Africa's private sector, and most importantly, entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. The Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Program is the $100 million commitment by the Elumelu family to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years. The goal is to create at least 1 million jobs and contribute over $10 billion in revenue to the African economy. The Foundation empowers African entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurship ecosystem across 54 African countries through its flagship Entrepreneurship Program. The Foundation has empowered 9,631 entrepreneurs thus far. The Program is built on a 7-pillar model, a unique holistic system of effective and intensive support to African entrepreneurs, consisting of a startup enterprise toolkit, online mentoring, online resource library, meet-ups, TEF Entrepreneurship Forum, seed capital, and alum network. In 2018, the Foundation launched TEFConnect, Africa's digital entrepreneurship hub last year to connect the entrepreneurship ecosystem and facilitate businesses beyond physical borders. The platform currently hosts 800,000 users.
Empowering Communities with Lending Circles
Mission Asset Fund (MAF), San Francisco, USA
MAF seeks to create a fair financial marketplace for hardworking people. They work to make Lending Circles and other loan products available nationwide. They provide a novel type of social loan program that helps people open bank accounts, avoid predatory lenders, and quickly build credit. The lending circle approach enables them to offer no-interest social loans to start or build a business.
The Endeavor Entrepreneur Experience
Endeavor is leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement around the world. They employ a unique model to select, support and multiply the impact of our entrepreneurs. Endeavor's entrepreneurs continue to transform their communities, create quality jobs and inspire future generations of founders.
Entrepreneurship and Displaced Women in Cameroon
Centered in Buea, in the southwest region of Cameroon, the Reach Out project enables conflict-affected and internally displaced young women to become economically independent. These women are supported through education and finances to create micro, small, and cooperative businesses.
Entrepreneurship to End Extreme Poverty
Village Enterprise employs a group-based approach to equip and empower first-time entrepreneurs in Africa with resources and skills to start sustainable businesses and savings groups. They provide cash transfers, training, and mentoring to entrepreneurs in extreme poverty. With the income and savings from their businesses, the entrepreneurs lift themselves and their families out of economic hardship, build resilience, and break the cycle of poverty. Village enterprises transform lives by igniting the entrepreneurial spirit. The Village Enterprise program on poverty reduction and improved well-being has transformed over 1.2 million lives and started 58,000 businesses.
Equipping Talented but Under-resourced Individuals
Rising Tide Capital -- Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
Rising Tide Capital is a non-profit organization whose mission is to transform lives and communities through entrepreneurship. Their vision centers on Inclusive communities of resilient entrepreneurs catalyzing a thriving and sustainable economy for all. They provide business development services designed to transform lives by helping individuals start and grow successful businesses; build communities through collaborations with other non-profits, higher education institutions, corporations, and public agencies; and create a scalable program model with a measurable impact that can be replicated in communities of need across the U.S. Rising Tide is a "CNN Hero" that President Obama has recognized for social innovation. They have celebrated the 1,000th graduate of their Community Business Academy and have expanded regionally into four cities and counting.
EPIC Poverty Challenge
Equipping Emerging Entrepreneurs in Nigeria
FATE Foundation, Nigeria
FATE Foundation has been established to enable aspiring and emerging Nigerian entrepreneurs, particularly those from adverse backgrounds, to start, grow and scale their businesses.
Equipping First-Time Poverty Entrepreneurs in Rural Africa
Village Enterprise, Africa
Using a community-based, holistic approach, the Village Enterprise program supports first-time entrepreneurs to move beyond extreme poverty by equipping them with all the resources, knowledge, and leadership needed to start sustainable businesses and savings groups. This allows participants to be self-reliant to meet their needs and build better futures for themselves and their children. It also fosters gender equity as its female entrepreneurs (82% of program participants) are empowered and hold more significant household and community decision-making roles.
Kauffman Foundation, USA
Fast Trac has three versions. One version is designed for entrepreneurs who are launching new technology or science-based ventures. Another is for those who are starting nearly anything else and from low-income backgrounds. A third version is geared toward business owners who are looking to grow their companies. The New Venture program for startups is usually seven full days over four weeks. A group of peers, session leaders, and visiting experts help delegates to vet their idea, show them how to do business research, and help them to ask and answer the important financial questions they need to write a business plan. The experts also give food for thought on the best way to fund an idea.
Financial Services for Low-to-Moderate Income Individuals
Economic and Community Development Institute (USA)
The Economic and Community Development Institute (ECDI), a nonprofit organization in Cleveland, Ohio, offers numerous financial services targeted at low- to moderate-income individuals. Services include financial literacy classes, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), microenterprise training, consulting services, and microloans. Participants are referred to ECDI by One-Stop Centers, local community- and faith-based organizations, and through word of mouth. Before receiving any of ECDI's services, all participants must complete economic literacy training. This four-session class teaches individuals the importance of saving and budgeting their money. Participants then choose which asset goal they want to concentrate on (microenterprise, homeownership, or secondary education) and begin saving money toward their goal in a matched savings account, or IDA. Match rates range from 2:1 to 4:1, depending on the program. The majority of ECDI participants enroll in the microenterprise program. These individuals undergo a 10-session training workshop where they learn the skills necessary to start their own businesses. Upon completion, all participants will develop a business plan, which ECDI staff will help them to implement. At this point, many participants receive an ECDI microloan for business start-ups or expansion. ECDI staff continue to work with business owners, providing technical assistance and conducting on-site visits.
Fostering an Entrepreneurial Mindset in Haiti
CEDEL Haiti, Port Au Prince, Haiti
Launched in May 2012, CEDEL Haiti is a social enterprise that promotes the development of the entrepreneurial mindset in Haiti. CEDEL Haiti was created to be the instrument that allows Haitian entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs to realize their dreams. The main programs of CEDEL Haiti include the School Entrepreneurship Program (ProgrES), a national business plan competition and an agricultural pitch program, a boot camp on starting a business, an annual entrepreneurship forum for women, and a mentoring program for aspiring entrepreneurs. Services offered by CEDEL Haiti include entrepreneurship training seminars, business plan assistance, coaching of entrepreneurs, consulting support to aspiring entrepreneurs, networking activities, business incubation, and a shared workspace, promotion of investment groups, youth conferences, business tours, market analyses and surveys and value chain analysis. CEDEL Haiti has reached more than 10,000 people through its programming. Partners include the US Embassy in Haiti, USAID/KONBIT Ashoka, the Central Bank of Haiti, FOKAL, and a number of international universities.
Helping Black and Latinx People in the Innovation Economy
CODE2040 takes its name from the year predicted that minorities will become the majority in the United States. It is a nonprofit organization aggressively pursuing its goal of having "Black and Latinx people proportionally represented in the leading edge of America's innovation economy as technologists, investors, thought leaders and entrepreneurs." In addition to a flagship Fellows Program that places promising black and Latino college-level computer science students in internship programs at top tech companies, CODE2040 has also started a Residency Program designed to help black and Latino entrepreneurs build companies and cultivate diversity in their communities. The one-year residency provides participating founders a $40,000 nonequity stipend and additional support from CODE2040, Google for Entrepreneurs, and participating founders' hometown tech hubs. Participants receive hub workspace for the resident and his/her team, along with mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs and investors in the CODE2040 and Google for Entrepreneurs networks.
Helping the Incarcerated Learn About Entrepreneurship
Inmates to Entrepreneurs, USA
The mission of Inmates to entrepreneurs is to assist people with a criminal background in starting their own businesses by providing entrepreneurship education in prisons and online. They see venture creation as a means to overcome the fact that the formerly incarcerated face unemployment rates five times the national average. Nearly two-thirds of formerly incarcerated individuals find themselves back in prison in just three years.
iDE: Powering Entrepreneurs to End Poverty
iDE (Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Zambia)
The iDE fights climate change by offering entrepreneurs the use and services of climate-smart technology with business knowledge, financial access, and valuable and effective connections to market ecosystems. Their areas of focus include agriculture, WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), gender equity, and climate resilience. Programs include: (Agriculture) the Farm Business Advisors network, connecting more than 3500 participants (farmers, suppliers, entrepreneurs, etc.) in remote areas; (WASH) the sale of latrines, water filters, and hand washing devices to low-income households; (Climate Resilience) climate-smart products and training on the most eco-friendly and effective practices for managing natural resources. Additionally, iDE conceptualized and executed the Market Systems Resilience Index, which tracks the resilience of market systems in rural areas.
Increasing the Number of Black Entrepreneurs in Technology
Black Founders, USA
Black Founders is a national network of African-American founders that is dedicated to increasing the number of successful Black entrepreneurs in tech. The organization creates networking events year round, educational programs, and a conference series, "Ideas Are Worthless," in San Francisco, Atlanta, New York, and Austin, where Black Founders can network with each other and potential partners and investors. Black Founders started the HBCU Hacks program, a well-known series of weekend hack-a-thons that allow students at HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities) to develop their computer science skills and invent apps or software. In fact, during the last few years, one-fifth of graduating black students at HBCUs with engineering degrees have benefited from the hackathon program. As a minority entrepreneur who has founded several startups and successfully raised VC money, I have always advised young people of color interested in entrepreneurship to seek outside help actively. Even if only one percent of resources within the tech community are dedicated to minority founders, those of us who want to see a change in minority representation in future years should make the most of these resources in the hope of maximizing not only our chances of success but also our ability to help others and pay it forward.
Innovations for Poverty Action
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that creates and shares evidence while equipping decision-makers to use evidence to reduce poverty. With a long-term presence in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, IPA leads the field of development in cutting-edge research quality, innovation, and impact. In partnership with world-class researchers and strategic partners, we design and run randomized evaluations to measure the effectiveness of programs and policies aimed at helping the poor.
Innovative Financial Solutions for People in Poverty
Opportunity International is a global nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for entrepreneurs to build their businesses, children to go to school, farmers to feed their communities, and families to end the cycle of generational poverty. For nearly 50 years, they have developed innovative programs that use financial services, training, and support to address some of the most significant challenges facing those living in poverty around the world.
Integrated Suite of Services to Support Entrepreneurs
Neighborhood Development Center, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Neighborhood Development Center (NDC) is a nonprofit community development financial institution. NDC assists local entrepreneurs with a well-integrated suite of culturally competent, wraparound business services. Their training program serves as a model for many other communities. They have provided integrated business services to over 5,000 aspiring entrepreneurs, 85% of whom are persons of color. They focus on startup to expansion.
Integrated Suite of Services to Support Entrepreneurs
ProsperUS Detroit, Detroit, Michigan, USA
A place-based economic development strategy designed to empower low and moderate-income, immigrant, and minority individuals. Through their culturally competent range of services, they strive to support the entrepreneurial spirit and small business community that exists in Detroit’s neighborhoods. Programs include training, business services, and micro-lending.
Life After Prison: Resources and Business Skills for Inmates
PEP - Prison Entrepreneurship Program, Texas, USA
Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has pioneered innovative programs that connect convicted felons with the nation’s top executives, entrepreneurs, and MBA students to prevent recidivism, maximize self-sufficiency, and transform broken lives. It is a unique and innovative program in terms of program structure, business education, mentoring, and continued post-release support. The program is not for everyone and has a rigorous criteria and selection process followed by a 6-month in-prison mini-MBA program that includes a financial literacy course, employment workshop, business etiquette course, and a Toastmasters class. Upon release, PEP supports its alums with a comprehensive slate of reentry services, including case management, transition housing, assistance in finding employment, and connecting to social services.
Lifting Up Women Entrepreneurs to Change the World
Street Business School, USA
Street Business School is a leader in global training to end extreme poverty by empowering women as entrepreneurs and teaching other organizations how to implement our proven and effective business training. Their world-class and world-changing model seeks to help 1 million people lift themselves from poverty by 2027. They use proven methods to give the poor the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. In only six months, they take that knowledge and tools to create their own business. As fearless businesswomen, they build their enterprises, meet their daily needs, and raise capable and confident children who will break the cycle of generational poverty.
MCF-SIEF - Mastercard Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund (2020-2021)
African Institute of Mathematical Sciences-Next Einstein Initiative (AIMS-NEI) & Mastercard Foundation, Cameroon
AIMS-NEI, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, launched the MCF-SIEF at AIMS Cameroon to better prepare AIMS Mastercard Foundation scholars and alumni with the knowledge and skills to innovate and generate creative solutions to social challenges. The program brings together scholars and alumni from the Mastercard Foundation and AIMS scholars to learn how the Design Thinking Approach works and how to apply it to real-world problems. Participants collaborate and create inspirational entrepreneurial projects in three broad areas: improving existing livelihoods, enabling income diversification, and creating dignified and fulfilling work (jobs).
Mentoring Women in Business in Developing Economies
Cherie Blair Foundation for Women -- India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Palestine, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Vietnam, South Africa, and Guyana
The mission of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is to empower women, particularly those who are economically vulnerable, to start, grow and sustain successful businesses so that they can redefine the future for themselves and their societies.
Mercy Corps Ventures
Mercy Corps Ventures, established in 2015 as the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, plays a crucial role in addressing the challenges faced by entrepreneurs striving to solve pressing global issues. With a focus on disruptive business models and transformative technologies, the non-profit organization aims to support startups that have the potential to impact 3.3 billion climate-vulnerable individuals, 1.4 billion unbanked people, and 162 million small businesses. Recognizing that entrepreneurs often face undercapitalization and lack access to essential resources, Mercy Corps Ventures steps in to invest in and catalyze venture-led solutions, particularly those centered around climate adaptation and resilience-building. The organization's portfolio, comprising 47 early-stage ventures, highlights a commitment to inclusivity, with 49% of the ventures having at least one female co-founder. The strategic investment areas include adaptive agriculture and food systems, inclusive fintech, and climate-smart technologies, all aimed at empowering communities in frontier markets to withstand disruptions and plan for a sustainable future. Through a combination of capital infusion, strategic support, piloting innovative approaches, and impactful insights management, Mercy Corps Ventures actively contributes to building a smarter and more impactful investment ecosystem, steering the global community towards a more sustainable, equitable, and resilient world in the face of technological advancements and increasing disruptions.
Microcredit and Entrepreneurial Support
Grameen Bank, Bangladesh
Grameen Bank (GB) has reversed conventional banking practices by removing the need for collateral and created a banking system based on mutual trust, accountability, participation, and creativity. GB provides credit to the poorest of the poor in rural Bangladesh without any collateral. At GB, credit is a cost-effective weapon to fight poverty, and it catalyzes the overall development of the socio-economic conditions of the poor who have been kept outside the banking orbit on the ground that they are poor and hence not bankable. Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founder of “Grameen Bank,” reasoned that if financial resources can be made available to the poor people on terms and conditions that are appropriate and reasonable, “these millions of small people with their millions of small pursuits can add up to create the biggest development wonder.” As of November 2019, it has 9.60 million members, with 97 percent being women. With 2,568 branches, GB provides services in 81,678 villages, covering more than 93 percent of the total villages in Bangladesh. Grameen Bank’s positive impact on its poor and formerly poor borrowers has been documented in many independent studies carried out by external agencies, including the World Bank, the International Food Research Policy Institute (IFPRI), and the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS).
Micro-Entrepreneurship Empowerment for Youth
Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership Development (YELD) is a registered nonprofit charitable organization based in Kenya that is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of Kenyan youth and women through diverse economically enabling empowerment programs. To help solve the double-crisis of high unemployment and business mortality rates, YELD has a Mentorship Program that is aimed at guiding micro-entrepreneurs and startups toward avoiding common pitfalls and building sustainable enterprises in the context of a changing economy. YELD’s five pillars of empowerment are (1) entrepreneurship mentorship (2) entrepreneurial training (3) entrepreneurial coaching (4) entrepreneurial advocacy, and (5) leadership development.
Foundation Air Liquide (France)
The Micro-Entrepreneurship program supported by Foundation Air Liquide aims to help local development in different parts of the world. Currently, there are four ongoing local projects. These are in Togo, Argentina, India, and Benin. The project in Togo led by Entrepreneurs du Monde aims to ensure that clean, modern, and economical energy for cooking and lighting is accessible to at-risk communities. In Argentina, the Caring Loans project aims to give San Cayetano people access to micro-credit and sales training. The project in India led by Objectif France-Inde trains marginalized women living in Tamil Nadu in goat farming to help kick-start their own farming business that will be beneficial in the future. Finally, the project in Benin, led by Rescue and Hope, aims to improve the economic status of Beninese women by providing them with tools for their crop processing center to increase efficiency in farming.
Microfinancing for Women Entrepreneurs in Latin America
Pro Mujer -- Argentina, Bolivia, México, Nicaragua, Perú
Pro Mujer is a social enterprise with a women-centered, impact-driven approach whose mission is to advance gender equality in Latin America. As a leading women’s development and microfinance organization in Latin America, Pro Mujer provides financial and health services, business training, and empowerment to low-income women so that they can generate their progress. Pro Mujer offers a growing business network for women entrepreneurs in Latin America that includes investors, governments, and the private sector as they come together and share knowledge, exchange best practices and even offer services to ensure women gain access to the resources they need to survive.
Microfinancing for Small Entrepreneurs in Nicaragua
MiCrédito is a financial institution offering underserved populations in both urban and rural Nicaragua access to microfinancing for their business ventures. Their mission is to create business solutions that include social and financial support to micro and small entrepreneurs, providing a more prosperous future. In addition to microfinancing, MiCrédito offers the financial education needed for the prosperity and growth of client businesses and the organization itself.
Microlending for Entrepreneurs
United Prosperity, USA
United Prosperity is a nonprofit organization providing an online lending platform connecting lenders to poor entrepreneurs across the globe. A Kiva-like peer-to-peer loaning system allows anyone with spare cash to guarantee loans to entrepreneurs in need. Lenders select the entrepreneur they want to support and lend any amount they wish. United Prosperity then consolidates the loan amount and passes it on to the entrepreneur through a local bank. For every $1 the lender gives, the bank makes a nearly $2 loan to the entrepreneur through a partner Microfinance Institution (MFI). Once a loan or a loan guarantee has been made, the entrepreneur’s progress is tracked online. When loans are repaid, lenders get their money back. They then can recycle it by lending or guaranteeing the loan to another entrepreneur. These microloans seek to help entrepreneurs, primarily women, grow their small businesses. United Prosperity has transferred more than $280,000 in loans to 1,300 entrepreneurs. Moreover, MFI helps build entrepreneurs’ credit history with local banking systems, thus encouraging more banks to lend to them.
Microsoft Global Social Entrepreneurship Initiative
Microsoft Corporation, USA
Microsoft’s global initiative is designed to help social enterprise startups build and scale their companies to do good globally. The program is available in 140 countries and actively seeks to support underrepresented founders with diverse perspectives and backgrounds. The criteria to qualify for the program include a business metric that measures the impact of a significant social or environmental challenge, an established product or service that will benefit from access to enterprise customers, and a commitment to the ethical and responsible use of AI. Microsoft is trying to provide the foundational building blocks to help social entrepreneurs create companies that can achieve worldwide impact. Social enterprises that become part of the Global Social Entrepreneurship program will receive free Microsoft cloud technologies, including up to $120,000 in Azure credits, technical support, and guidance. A dedicated program manager will help Global Social Entrepreneurship startups market and sell solutions and connect to large commercial organizations and nongovernmental organizations that are potential customers. Participants focused on sustainability, accessibility, skills, and employability are also eligible for grants. Social enterprises joining the Global Social Entrepreneurship program will be part of a worldwide community of like-minded innovators who come together to share ideas, foster connections, and celebrate success.
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship
Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Alternativ Global Entrepreneurs, USA
The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) is a worldwide educational non-profit that empowers young entrepreneurs from low-income communities. For that reason, the NFTE designed multiple programs that tailor to the needs of the diverse and various NFTE students. These programs are made possible by volunteering highly-trained teachers and local, successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. The flexibility and project-based aspects of learning experiences make possible the success of this nonprofit. They count with 86% of NFTE alumni employed, 80% of NFTE alumni credentialed, 25% of NFTE alumni entrepreneurs that have launched their businesses, and 50% of NFTE alumni earning more than the current U.S. median salary.
Opportunity International (Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Serbia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
Opportunity International offers practical and long-lasting financial solutions to families living in difficult conditions and who need access to a sustainable livelihood and quality education by focusing on four areas:
- Equipping families with the tools and training necessary to build their successful enterprises.
- Improving their harvests.
- Offering quality nutrition and essential living elements to their families.
- Sending their children to educational institutions.
- Making steps to eradicate the poverty cycle.
Their focus on rural communities’ lifestyles and the lack of high-quality education was inspired by the high number of people living in poverty and the recent decay of education because of the pandemic of COVID-19. Therefore their financial solutions concentrate on Education Finance (Loans, EduQuality, Data, Monitoring & Evaluation, and Business Intelligence), Agriculture Finance (Loans, Training, Access to Markets, Digital Services for Rural Communities), Microbanking (Mobile Banking Services, Loans, Savings, SME Financing, Financial Literacy Training, Business Management), and Innovative Programs (Digital Financial Services, Women’s Economic Empowerment, Opportunity Zones, Graduation Programs, Refugee Financial Services, Vocational Training for Youth).
Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative
USAID launched the Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) initiative to spur innovations that accelerate the creation of promising, high-growth, and sustainable entrepreneurial ventures across the developing world. Through PACE, USAID invests millions of dollars in helping identify, test, and implement financially sustainable models that accelerate the growth of small and growing businesses that promote broad-based economic prosperity or address development challenges in food security, health, and energy access.
Partnering for Job Creation in Uganda
UNIDO (United Nations) and Ugandan Ministry of Education and Sports
A program to introduce entrepreneurship into Uganda’s education system for both stages of secondary education: ordinary level and advanced level. The curriculum was developed and implemented by the Ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with academia, the private sector, and international development organizations. It includes the development of entrepreneurship syllabi, teacher guides, student textbooks, monitoring tools, and in-service teacher training. Students are encouraged to adopt entrepreneurial attitudes, coached to identify business opportunities within their communities, and taught how to manage a small business. From a pilot program with ten secondary schools, the initiative has been expanded to include over 2,000 secondary schools across the country. Entrepreneurial activities allow students to generate their own income and become more financially independent from their parents.
PovertyCure is one of the initiatives of the Acton Institute, a think tank that aims to advance a free and virtuous society. The mission of PovertyCure is to address the battle against local and global poverty through the lens of understanding the human person and society. It also aims to identify solutions that provide opportunities that help unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that already exists worldwide.
Poverty, Micro-enterprises, and Funding
National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development, India
NABARD is a premier Central Government Institution that is the pioneer in supporting and funding various banks, NGOs, and SHGs in prompting micro-enterprises and eradicating poverty from the country.
Prison Entrepreneurship Program - PEP Collider
Prison Entrepreneurship Program (Houston and Dallas, USA)
The Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP Collider) offers a “mini-MBA” based on the depth and rigorous aspect of the process inmates experience alongside their business executive mentors. This program connects business executives and inmates through entrepreneurial interests and leadership aspirations to transform lives, families, and communities. This initiative allows inmates to re-enter society with the highest possible level of success and avoidance of pitfalls. The acceptance rate of this program is 5%; it offers one-to-one training, tools, skills, and a support structure to achieve a fulfilling and healthy, productive life after prison.
Programs for Economic Empowerment and Education
Indego Africa, Rwanda, and Ghana
Indego Africa is a nonprofit social enterprise that supports women, including refugees, in Rwanda and Ghana through economic empowerment and education. They aim to break intergenerational cycles of poverty. To do so, Indego Africa provides female artisans with the tools and support necessary to become independent businesswomen and drive local development. Partnering with 18 cooperatives of female artisans, Indego Africa sells handcrafted products through an e-commerce site, collaborations with designers and brands, and at boutiques worldwide. To develop their entrepreneurial skills, Indego Africa provides artisans with training and support programs addressing entrepreneurship, business, and leadership issues. Indego currently employs over 600 women, 58 percent making over $2 a day. According to the World Bank, $2 daily marks the entry point into Africa’s growing middle class.
Providing Private Enterprise Solutions to Social Problems
The Center for International Private Enterprise works towards providing business-led solutions to socio-economic problems. Since 1983 CIPE has been working with local partners to craft business-driven solutions to problems that affect millions of people. Working with local partners, including business associations, chambers of commerce, think tanks, universities, and advocacy organizations, CIPE is helping create the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. One of the organization’s key initiatives is assisting women in developing entrepreneurial ventures.
Resources to Help Undocumented Immigrants Pursue Opportunities
Immigrants Rising, USA
Immigrants Rising is a nonprofit community organization founded in 2006 and based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their mission is to empower undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation. They started as an initiative to support undocumented students, with students already advocating for opportunities to learn and improve their lives. Their work is driven by and for undocumented young people, and they focus on building and strengthening young persons' individual and collective strengths and resources necessary to learn and thrive. Immigrants Rising believes that personal transformation in young people can inspire entire communities and, through individual successes, increase understanding, change policy, and open access to greater opportunities for all. They develop educational partnerships with institutions, and their strategies provide life-changing financial support that enables undocumented young people to overcome systemic barriers while developing the undocumented community's career training and leadership capacity. Their services include Immigration Legal-Intake Service, California In-State Tuition Tool, Mental Health Connector, and Wellness Gatherings. They train undocumented young people to reclaim and share their personal stories to strengthen community bonds, transform hearts and minds, and advance policy legislation. Their related website at https://undocuhustle.org/ addresses the entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of the immigrant experience by showing immigrants how to leverage their skills, knowledge, and experience to generate income through contracting or business start-up opportunities.
Rising Tide Capital
Rising Tide Capital, New Jersey, USA
Rising Tide Capital seeks to build an inclusive community of resilient entrepreneurs by giving access to Knowledge Capital (Business Management Education), Social Capital (Networking, Mentorship, and Sales Opportunities), and Financial Capital (Loans and Financial Literacy Training). Therefore, this program allows individuals to successfully start and grow their enterprises by taking advantage of business development services. The services are classified into distinct programs, which are the following: The Community Business Academy (business management training program), Business Acceleration Services (a suite of support services), and Credit to Capital (acquire capital by working personally with a business coach). The programs have proven successful by demonstrating that a rising tide entrepreneur opens a new business every three days. They have a current network of more than 7746 entrepreneurs, and 95% of those entrepreneurs have seen an increase in their business sales within two years.
Rural Poverty in Africa
Village Enterprise works to end extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. The program is simple and cost-effective. Village Enterprise equips people living in extreme poverty in rural Africa to start sustainable businesses and savings groups. Graduates from the program generate income and savings from their small businesses that improve their living standards and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. Validated by an independent randomized controlled trial, the Village Enterprise Graduation program provides groups of three entrepreneurs with cash transfers as seed capital, training, and ongoing mentoring by a local business mentor. They organize the business groups into Business Savings Groups (BSGs) of 30 entrepreneurs (10 business groups) to allow access to growth capital, provide a safe place for savings, and build social capital. Examples of businesses include livestock, farming, small retail stores, restaurants, tailoring, and beekeeping. Village Enterprise has started over 48,000 businesses and trained over 185,000 East Africans.
Self-Employment and Enterprise Development Program
State of Washington, USA
SEAP in Washington offers a valuable option to eligible people who want to run their own businesses. This program gives one flexibility and income opportunity unavailable through traditional employment. SEAP is a unique opportunity to enter self-employment entrepreneurial training and receive business counseling while collecting unemployment benefits. To be eligible for the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), one must: qualify for regular unemployment benefits; enroll in a training program that the Employment Security Department's commissioner approves; be identified as likely to run out of benefits or be eligible for Commissioner-Approved Training (CAT).
Solutions for Microentrepreneurs in Brazil
Aliança Empreendedora, Brazil
Aliança Enpreendedora combines the development of microentrepreneurs and the construction of alliances between micro- and large companies, governments, and organizations. Aliança Empreendora classifies its services into three types: Solutions for micro-entrepreneurs, a hub of research and trends, and consulting for companies. The organization was founded in 2005 with the aim of empowering and supporting formal and informal microentrepreneurs in economic vulnerability throughout Brazil.
The SOMO Project
SOMO Project -- USA and Kenya
The SOMO Project identifies, trains, funds, and mentors entrepreneurs looking to drive social change by building enterprises in their own low-income urban communities. They invest in social entrepreneurs and provide the training and tools to help them build enterprises that change their communities from within. By investing in the right people, they help break the cycle of poverty and help bring long-term stability to urban slum areas.
Street Business School
Street Business School -- Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kenya, Lithuania, Malawi, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
The Street Business School offers an award-winning entrepreneurial in-person and virtual training program that seeks to end generational poverty by empowering women entrepreneurs. The programs look towards giving access to knowledge and skill training to make possible the development of sustainable businesses. Their SBS's success lies in its train-the-trainer immersion workshop and virtual training. Individuals access the SBS curriculum, coursework, and post-workshop coaching sessions to deliver SBS to the desired community. To date, SBS has generated a substantial impact: 89% of their graduates have at least one business two years after completing the program, a 1462% average income increase across graduates earning less than $0.65/day, and a 211% average increase income across all their graduates.
Supporting Enterprises Focused on BoP
The Grassroots Business Fund -- USA, Kenya, Peru, India
The Grassroots Business Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to build and support high-impact enterprises that provide sustainable economic opportunities to thousands of people at the base of the economic pyramid.
Supporting Entrepreneurship Across Emerging Markets
Intellecap Aavishkaar Group -- Asia and Africa
Aavishkaar Group is the global pioneer in taking an entrepreneurship-based approach towards development. The Group focuses on developing the impact ecosystem in Asia and Africa and bridging the opportunity gap for the emerging 3 billion. Over the last 15 years, they have worked with over 1,000 enterprises across emerging markets in Asia and Africa. Focal points include idea validation, technical assistance, capacity building, and capital facilitation.
Supporting Youth Serving NGOs
The Youth and Development Consultancy Institute (Etijah) provides training and capacity-building expertise to youth-serving NGOs to develop Egyptian youth's entrepreneurship, employment, and living skills. Approximately one-third of Egyptian youth are unemployed, and Etijah is committed to developing their skills so they can live prosperous, productive lives.
Supporting Sustainable Development Projects
High Atlas Foundation
The High Atlas Foundation works to establish sustainable development projects in local communities throughout Morocco. From organic agriculture to clean energy projects, the HAF works in partnership with the public, private, and civil sectors.
Support Artisan Women in Latin America
Mercardo Global, USA
Mercardo Global is a social enterprise organization that links indigenous artisans in rural Latin American communities to international sales opportunities. As a result, this organization helps provide sustainable income-earning opportunities, access to business training, and community-based education programs. Mercado Global also increases access to microloans for technology, such as sewing machines and floor looms. Mercado Global believes income alone cannot solve long-term problems. Therefore, the organization focuses on both business education and leadership training. In doing so, Mercado Global enables artisans to address systemic problems within their communities. Artisans are given microloans, ideally to purchase equipment that allows them to work more efficiently. They then pay back their loans, allowing another artisan to attain one. Forty-four percent of Mercado Global entrepreneurs held a leadership position within their cooperatives in the last three years. Ninety-six percent participate in the finances of their households. And 77 percent of women voted in their last community election.
Supporting Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development
The SEED Initiative is a multi-country partnership involving Germany, India, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, the United Kingdom, the USA, Switzerland, the UN, Kenya, and Canada. SEED inspires, supports, and researches exceptional, entrepreneurial, nascent, multi-stakeholder partnerships for locally-led sustainable development. The initiative focuses on 'business as unusual' - innovative action delivering real solutions through project cooperation among small and large businesses, local and international NGOs, women's groups, labor organizations, public authorities, UN agencies, and others working in the field of sustainable development. The SEED Initiative aims to support outstanding and innovative start-up entrepreneurs working in partnership in developing countries to improve livelihoods and manage natural resources sustainably; develop practical tools to help social and environmental entrepreneurs to scale up; influence policy-makers to create enabling environments for sustainable development businesses; and inspire new entrepreneurial ventures to deliver social and environmental benefits.
Supporting the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in Angola
Chevron contributed $1,000,000 to a Unido-Chevron partnership initiative to introduce entrepreneurship as a subject in secondary schools in Angola. The entrepreneurship curriculum program aims to develop entrepreneurship skills among young people. The program helps to bring together young people, the education system, and the private sector, linking the classroom to the business world. The young people acquire skills to identify, develop and manage new business opportunities.
Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Ecosystem Development
SourceLink builds communities that drive economies forward through entrepreneurship. SourceLink specializes in research and development solutions for the entrepreneurial journey. They work to provide tailored resources, including a mix of technology, community engagement, and measurement to lead best practices in entrepreneurship and economic development. Launched in 2003, SourceLink has helped over 100 communities develop unique ecosystems and infrastructures. They provide entrepreneurs with components and services to identify, connect, and continuously improve to drive desired economic impact. Over time, SourceLink has built a successful roadmap that communities of all sizes put to use. Ranging from one-stop shops and small businesses to complex entrepreneurial assessment studies, SourceLink identifies and conducts impactful research and development initiatives to empower the entrepreneurial community. The SourceLink Network spreads across various locations from Seattle to San Juan and works to empower local leaders and communities to achieve entrepreneurship-led development goals.
TEF Entrepreneurship Programme
The Tony Elumelu Foundation -- 54 African Countries
The TEF Entrepreneurship Programme has empowered more than 15,847 young African entrepreneurs through this consolidated infrastructure and support program. Past programs include ELUMELU Empowerment Fund, Tony & Awele Elumelu Prize, Nigeria 50, ELUMELU Professionals Programme, TEF - CCHUB Partnership, Nigeria Charities Act, Nigerian Philanthropy Summit, National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria, Blair-Elumelu Fellowship Programme, Africapitalism Institute, MANGA Farms, African Exchange Holdings LTD, and the Impact Economy Innovations Fund. There are various options available to get involved with those types of projects and programs, including volunteering at TEF Events, monitoring and evaluating an enterprise; hosting a TEF Entrepreneurship Meet Up; promoting the TEF Brand; and becoming a research partner. This is possible because of expert mentors who are trained to deliver online mentoring to up to four mentees.
TREYL - Transforming Rural Economies and Youth Livelihoods (2019-2022)
Practical ACTION, Kenya
TREYL is an ambitious four-year program in partnership with the IKEA foundation that seeks to transform sustainable agriculture into a viable career that enables young people in rural areas in Kenya to afford a better life. TREYL seeks to increase agricultural productivity through sustainable farming and decrease poverty levels in young people aged 25-35 through commercially viable regenerative agriculture. The TREYL program is currently working with an initial cohort of 6,000 young women and men to enhance their business skills based on an agroecological approach to farming. Working groups made up of commercial providers, and government agencies are tackling access to finance, training services, and the provision of market information. Over the long term, the TREYL program seeks to impact 80,000 young people by demonstrating the viability of businesses in the agricultural sector.
Ultimate Resources for Black Entrepreneurs
The mission at Growthink is to support all entrepreneurs regardless of race, ethnicity, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, economic status, and other diverse backgrounds. They have created a resource platform to help black entrepreneurs to acquire the knowledge and resources necessary to achieve as much success as possible.
UNHCR - The Graduation Approach
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR -- Myanmar, Egypt, Costa Rica, Iran
The Graduation Approach is a form of addressing the urgent needs of the poorest refugees and families. UNHCR's approach is a 24 to 36-month strategy so these impoverished refugees can become self-reliant. After the program, the refugees should be able to eat at least two cooked meals a day, hold productive thresholds, possess at least two sources of income, maintain a minimum savings balance, and at least repay a loan with their savings or credit. The UNHCR strategy is as follows: target the poorest households; provide a certain amount of cash for the families to meet their basic needs; help the families on planning their livelihoods and productive possibilities; build a savings plan; offer technical and entrepreneurial skills training; close mentoring with the participants to develop their self-confidence.
Village Enterprise -- Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique
The Village Enterprise addresses extreme poverty in rural Africa, specifically women, youth, and refugees, by offering a Poverty Graduation Program that prepares them to become successful entrepreneurs and leaders in their communities. The community-based and locally-led program is designed with steps including business savings groups, training, seed capital, and mentoring. This program is further enhanced with their partnerships, use of technology and innovation, and complex monitoring and evaluation. Their data-driven approach creates impact as the Village Enterprise has helped generate more than 58,000 businesses, trained more than 214,000 entrepreneurs, and changed the lives of more than 1,240,000 individuals.
Women Empowerment Services
Everyone should have access to clean energy. And the team behind Solar Sister believes women are a key part of the solution to the clean energy challenge. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 600 million people have no access to electricity. Moreover, more than 700 million must rely on harmful fuels. However, women bear the majority burden of this energy poverty and disproportionately shoulder the harmful effects. To address this issue and create more equity around clean energy and economic opportunities, Solar Sister invests in women’s enterprises in off-grid communities. By doing so, the Solar Sister team builds networks of women entrepreneurs. Women are first given access to clean, renewable energy. Then, they participate in a direct sales network to build sustainable businesses. Centering local women in a rapidly growing clean energy sector is essential to eradicating poverty. This allows helps achieve sustainable solutions to climate change and a host of development issues. Evidence shows the income of self-employed rural women with access to energy is more than double the income of those without access to energy. For rural female wage or salary workers, access to energy is correlated with 59 percent higher wages. Solar Sister is currently helping over 1,200 entrepreneurs. The team is also partnering with Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, Sustainable Energy for All, U.N. Women, and Women in Solar Energy.
Women Empowerment Through the Gospel and Entrepreneurship
ROSE Women’s Foundation, Kenya
ROSE is a global community whose mission is to empower women in extreme poverty through the gospel and entrepreneurship. They uplift women as business leaders to create jobs, earn a dignified income, and provide for their families. Their programs focus on microenterprise business training, microfinancing, and virtual coaching.
Women’s Social Enterprise
Small Projects Istanbul, Turkey
Small Projects Istanbul is an NGO dedicated to helping those displaced by the conflict in the MENA region to rebuild their lives through supporting community development, education, and empowerment. The Women's Social Enterprise is an SPI project that allows women in the community to contribute to their livelihoods through handicraft production and sales. Embedded within the Community Center space, the Women's Social Enterprise aims to effectively merge social and economic agendas concerning the community's needs. Participating in the Women's Social Enterprise enables artisans to earn income, develop transferable skills, gain a sense of ownership and independence, build confidence, and connect with their peers.
World Education Initiative: Empowering Vulnerable Children to Thrive
Bantwana, World Education, Inc.
Bantwana envisions a world where children are healthy, secure, and can reach their full potential. They use an evidence-based, socio-ecological comprehensive care model to ensure that children and their caregivers can access the support they need to grow and improve their overall well-being. Currently reaching over 600,000 people across six countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Bantwana engages at all levels. They work closely in partnership with more than 90 organizations, clinics, and governments (local and national) to build and sustain systems that care for children. Through their work with dedicated and innovative community leaders, Bantwana targets countries that face growing numbers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and invests in the core services that mitigate the impacts these children face. Bantwana’s current projects span from Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programs to School Health Outreach Programs (SHOP), HIV Prevention Life Skills Education and Rapid and Effective Action Combatting HIV/AIDS (REACH), and many more. Bantwana forms long-term partnerships and commitments with countries, working together with communities and governments to develop innovative solutions to address long-term, entrenched challenges at scale and sustainably. Bantwana promotes transformative, lasting change through its mission: to improve the well-being of vulnerable children and their caregivers and families affected by HIV and AIDS and poverty.
Youth Agro-pastoral Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme (2014-2023)
International Fund for Rural Development, Cameroon
The Youth Agro-pastoral Entrepreneurship Promotion Programme is designed to promote a policy, organizational and institutional framework that assists people in four regions in Cameroon in creating and developing successful agro-pastoral businesses. Apart from developing viable agro-pastoral businesses, the programme also seeks to help with access to financial services. Activities target young people in rural communities with greater potential to create a structured value chain for agro-pastoral production and related occupations.
Youth Employment Enhancement Project
VSO - Voluntary Service Overseas -- Africa and Asia
VSO is an international organization that brings about change not by sending aid but by working through volunteers and partners to empower people living in some of the world’s poorest and most overlooked regions. The Youth Employment Enhancement Project under VSO creates environments and platforms that allow young people to participate in conversations around livelihoods, pursue their dreams and aspirations and take action to improve their own well-being. VSO supports youth in three principal ways: (1) they advocate for the creation of decent green jobs and raise awareness about the rights of young people and promote social accountability between young people and their communities (2) they design and implement programs that mentor individuals in how to start-up businesses and give them access to financial services and digital technology, and (3) they empower young people through their youth networks who want to work to influence policies and promote systematic changes that allow for the creation of inclusive and decent jobs.
Youth Employment through Entrepreneurship in Tunisia
UNIDO, USAID, Government of Italy, Hewlett-Packard (HP)
An initiative to encourage youth employment through entrepreneurship and enterprise development in four vulnerable regions of Tunisia: Kairouan, Kasserine, Le Kef, and Sidi Bouzid. The project aims at enhancing the knowledge and delivery capacity of local business support institutions and provides direct support to entrepreneurs and enterprises through technical assistance, training, and business coaching. The project provides a business coaching program for startups, and assists aspiring entrepreneurs in preparing business plans. Entrepreneurs learn how to apply the innovative IT tools and business concepts of HP’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE) to their projects. Educators and students are trained through HP LIFE e-Learning workshops that are organized at the Higher Institute of Technological Studies (ISET) and in universities in the four regions.
Towards gender parity: women in creative industries in Pakistan
UNIDO and Pakistan Stone Development Company (PASDEC)
Expanding employment and creating livelihood opportunities for women in Pakistan has been achieved by establishing the Business Growth Center, which aims to enhance women entrepreneurs' ability, mobility, visibility, and connectivity. Moreover, linkages with the Universities, private sector, and Vocational Training Centers are created through the foundation of Creative Industries Centers (such as IQRA University). The strategy focuses on making all sectors of the economy more gender inclusive by finding ways to include women in the traditionally male-dominated sectors of the economy. This identifies and inserts value-adding sub-sectors with high potential for women to access the pre-existing, male-dominated value chains. Such creative sub-sectors harness women's creativity with the outcome of highly marketable products. These non-traditional parts of the economy mostly rely on creative, culture-based designs and heritage-based knowledge in which women play a pivotal role through their non-transferable, creative skills. These sectors include marble mosaics, gems, jewels, and home textiles.
An emerging Austin nonprofit called Just seeks to provide capital, coaching, and community to Austin’s low-income entrepreneurs through a microcredit model based on trust-based lending. Starting with a loan of just $750 with more available to them as they succeed, entrepreneurs can buy a chair at a salon, launch a cleaning business, or sell a handmade good. Applicants aren’t vetted based on their credit score, business plan, or even collateral. Instead, they’re vetted and invited to participate in the program by current Just entrepreneurs. Just’s trust-based model uses the power of peer-based accountability to manage credit risk and ensure repayment. The group trains leaders, typically Just graduates, to create teams of Just entrepreneurs, with each member having been vouched for by other members. This results in a tight-knit, peer-based group, which is naturally mutually supportive and mutually accountable.
UNIDO, Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, and Moroccan Ministry of Industry, Commerce, and New Technologies
Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Morocco
An entrepreneurship program that seeks to improve the income opportunities of the rural population in Morocco while enhancing the competitiveness of small-scale olive oil producing, textile, and fruits and vegetable drying groups managed by women. The project has included improving the production processes, providing new equipment to make production faster, better, and safer, and training in management, good manufacturing, traceability systems, food safety, marketing, networking, and finances. It ensured that the businesses could comply with stringent market standards and regulations, overcome trade barriers and facilitate exports. The program has also assisted women in diversifying production to include more value-added products.
Young Water Solutions is an international non-profit organization that aims to develop and support the potential of young people in Uganda, Bangladesh, and other countries to contribute to universal water, sanitation, hygiene, and water resources management. Young Water Solutions empowers young leaders and entrepreneurs, providing them with the tools to carry out water and sanitation projects and launch social businesses in their communities. The organization promotes an integrated approach and supports initiatives addressing inter-linked challenges such as climate change adaptation, reforestation, youth employment, gender equality, and food security. Based in Brussels, Young Water Solutions was co-founded in 2015 by sixteen young and senior water professionals from 11 different countries but with a shared vision: a world where young people contribute to making access to clean water and sanitation an everyday reality for everyone on Earth. Its mission is to make an effective and scalable contribution to Sustainable Development Goals by empowering young people to implement water solutions in their communities. By 2030, Young Water Solutions aspires to empower over 1,000 young leaders, including at least 500 young women, to implement water solutions in their communities so that at least 1,000,000 people can rely on clean water and sanitation and enjoy life in dignity.
Youth Business and Environmental Entrepreneurship Training: For Sustainable Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction
Lushoto Youth Development Network, EcoVentures Intl., Tanzania
Based in the Lushoto District, Tanga Region, in Tanzania, the LYDN targets local problems within Lushoto by making long-term investments in capacity building, training, and advising the youth (16 through 25-year-old students). The capacity building consists of developing an eco-entrepreneurial mindset and skill set in the young residents of Lushoto.
Youth Entrepreneurship Training
42 Changemakers, Kenya
Founded in 2008, 42 Change Makers (42CM) is a registered Community Based Organization in Kakamega County, Kenya, with a mission to equip youth from diverse cultures with tools, skills, connections, opportunities, mentorship, and support for their entrepreneurship and social change ideas to address community issues and effect the change they seek for the greater good of their communities.