Ending Poverty

We can’t end extreme poverty alone. That’s why we are scaling our model in partnership with local and national governments, multi- and bi-lateral agencies, and some of the biggest names in international development.


A world free of extreme poverty is possible.

At the core of everything we do is our poverty graduation program. Using a community-based and locally-led approach, the Village Enterprise poverty graduation program helps first-time entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa get on the path out of extreme poverty by equipping them with the resources, knowledge, and skills needed to start sustainable businesses and savings groups. Our model empowers our entrepreneurs to build resilience and shape better futures for themselves, their families, and future generations to come.

Backed by evidence from two randomized controlled trials, the Village Enterprise comprehensive approach ensures that our first-time entrepreneurs are equipped with resources to provide adequate nutrition for their families, send their children to school, cover household expenditures, build savings and assets, and improve their living standards.

We can go far, together.

We’ve impacted the lives of more than 1,413,000 people to date in rural Africa. But the way to truly end extreme poverty is to scale our model by working with governments to incorporate our graduation model into their programs and by taking collective action with other NGOs and agencies.

African Governments

We’re working with governments at the local and national levels to scale our impact and reach the most vulnerable.


Kenya Social Economic Inclusion Program (KSEIP)

Working alongside the government of Kenya, we are enhancing Kenya’s social protection program and putting more families on a sustainable path out of extreme poverty. In addition to training 3,750 first-time entrepreneurs to start their own businesses through KSEIP, Village Enterprise is building the capacity of government officials to create a stronger social safety net for the future.


Designing West Pokot County’s First Graduation Policy

Funded by the Open Society Foundation, Village Enterprise worked closely with the local government of West Pokot and Wasafiri Consulting to design the county’s poverty graduation policy, the very first of its kind in Kenya. At the end of this two-year project, the county will also utilize a targeting tool for identifying individuals and families living in extreme poverty who would benefit from graduation. As Mercy Tumkou, Village Enterprise Project Manager, shares: “One day, when extreme poverty is eradicated in West Pokot, Village Enterprise’s name will be mentioned.”


Scaling Poverty Graduation in Rwanda

In line with their vision to end poverty, the government of Rwanda is partnering with Village Enterprise to scale poverty graduation throughout the country. We are currently co-designing a poverty graduation and climate resilience outcomes project that will transform at least 360,000 lives in the first three years. The project will then be iterated, replicated, and scaled by the government with the goal of ending extreme poverty in Rwanda by 2030.


NGO Partnerships

From supporting refugees to protecting our planet, we’re partnering with leading NGOs to take on the biggest challenges in Africa.

African Wildlife Foundation

Village Enterprise first partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation in 2018 to reduce deforestation and illegal hunting of endangered bonobos in the Maringa-Lopori-Wamba landscape of the Democratic Republic of Congo. By equipping 780 households to launch sustainable businesses so they would no longer have to rely on poaching, many first-time entrepreneurs voluntarily surrendered their hunting weapons. Village Enterprise and AWF are currently looking into expanding our work together in the Congo Basin, as well as opportunities in Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

© 2015 JABRUSON, Arcus Foundation

Catholic Relief Services

Village Enterprise has joined forces with Catholic Relief Services to combat acute malnutrition among children under five living in the arid regions of northern Kenya. Part of the Nawiri project, our poverty graduation program has been layered with nutrition education and counseling, as well as additional cash transfers for consumption and health. Early results show that the project is resulting in improved nutrition and food security for the most vulnerable households.

Anthony Nyandiek, Catholic Relief Services and Michael Ekeno, Village Enterprise

Mercy Corps

Most refugee relief programs provide near-term support for a long-term problem. Mercy Corps and Village Enterprise are teaming up to prove there’s a better way to support refugees through DREAMS (Delivering Resilient Enterprises and Market Systems). In Uganda and Ethiopia, DREAMS will reach more than 33,000 households across the two countries and impact more than 200,000 lives. This unique model has the potential to transform refugee relief and the entire poverty alleviation sector. In addition, Village Enterprise and Mercy Corps are co-creating an adaptive plan that seeks to scale our partnership across sub-Saharan Africa, reaching hundreds of thousands more people living in extreme poverty.

Ezra Millstein, Mercy Corps 2017

Wildlife Conservation Society

In Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park in Congo-Brazzaville and Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Village Enterprise and WCS are teaming up to help end extreme poverty and protect our planet. By equipping those living in extreme poverty near protected areas with the tools and resources to start sustainable businesses, our partnership reduces poaching and protects endangered wildlife such as gorillas, okapis, and more. Over the next two years, this partnership will launch 1,000 businesses across the two countries.

Courtesy of Wildlife Conservation Society

World Vision

In response to the devastation left by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique in March 2019, Village Enterprise has provided technical support to World Vision Mozambique, adapting and implementing our poverty graduation model to support families that were most impacted by the disaster. Funded by USAID and implemented during the pandemic, we adapted our approach so that we could work remotely with World Vision staff to ultimately equip and support 2,400 households.