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Maximize Your Impact: New Research Validates Village Enterprise Model

Village Enterprise can help you maximize the good your donation can do, even if its just the coins in your pocket.

New research from Innovations for Poverty Action shows Village Enterprise's finely tuned 'graduation' model to be the most effective method of lifting people out of extreme poverty.

Who is Village Enterprise?

Village Enterprise is an innovative nonprofit that focuses on entrepreneurship as the key to ending extreme poverty - people living on less than $1.90 per day. Their program helps people create successful small businesses to sustain themselves.

They provide seed funding as well as financial training, ongoing mentoring, and business savings networks to entrepreneurs living below the poverty line. Whereas an organization like Kiva provides microloans which need to be paid back, Village Enterprise provides microgrants along with mentorship and business training to set the entrepreneur up for success.

Meet Odeya. Village Enterprise helped him start a business selling vegetables, and he used his earnings to open a restaurant on the side (Photo: Village Enterprise 2018)

The Challenge

Despite decades of development work and billions of dollars poured into the region, over half of the world’s extreme poor—a staggering 389 million people—reside in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Helping the ultra-poor escape extreme poverty is a global priority, but policymakers are faced with competing ideas about the best way to accomplish this,” said Village Enterprise’s CEO Dianne Calvi. Since 2013, researchers from Oxford have been working on a Randomized Control Trial designed to figure out the best solution to this problem by studying 138 of the poorest villages in Uganda.

80% of graduation program recipients are women (Village Enterprise)

The Results

On Friday, preliminary results became available with a clear winner—Village Enterprise’s program out performed every other in both impact and cost-effectiveness. Participants increased consumption by $143 compared to a control group.

After completing the one-year graduation program, participants recorded increased assets, and income, as well as improvements in nutrition and subjective well-being. Researchers estimate a full cost recovery within three to four years— that's better than anyone else in the business.

This independent Randomized Controlled Trial has proven what the people at Village Enterprise have known for years: the extreme poor can learn the skills of entrepreneurship, and micro-businesses can transform lives.

Feed a family in Uganda for a week with the change in your pocket

According to the 2017 Impact Report, program recipients were able to provide each member of their families with 3 extra meals per week. When divided by the relatively low per person investment in the program, each incremental meal per person only costs the donor $.04!

Feel like going a little farther? Just $33 can lift one person out of extreme poverty. For good.

Working at GiveTide, one question I get asked a lot is, “Can donating spare change actually make a difference?”

We partnered with Village Enterprise because they give our users the best bang for their buck. Its not every day that a peer-reviewed study validates the faith we already had in Village Enterprise as the best of the best.

"GiveTide was founded to help people feel good about giving, even if they don’t have more than the change in their pocket,” CEO Pete Ghiorse. By giving your spare change to Village Enterprise, you can be sure you are maximizing your impact.

Village Enterprise is ready to end extreme poverty everywhere (Village Enterprise)

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