Village Enterprise, a 2015-18 SV2 Grantee and now 2018 Impact Investee, works to end extreme poverty in rural east Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. Founded in 1987, Village Enterprise offers entrepreneurs a one-year Graduation program that provides them with seed capital, training and ongoing mentoring by a local business mentor. Since joining SV2’s portfolio in 2015, Village Enterprise has helped launch 6,000 additional business and trained 20,000 East African business owners. In total, they have started an impressive 39,000+ businesses and trained over 156,000+ business owners. We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Village Enterprise as they join our portfolio of Impact Investees.
Village Enterprise serves individuals living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90/day. Village Enterprise’s indigenous staff provide a year of rigorous business training, a micro-grant of $150 to start a business, ongoing mentoring, and a group business savings program. After a year of business training and saving, entrepreneurs in Village Enterprise’s program have on average doubled their personal savings, increased their food security by 178%, and increased their overall standard of living by 35%.
Why are we still so excited?
Since joining SV2’s portfolio, Village Enterprise has actively pursued new approaches to realizing its mission of ending extreme poverty in east Africa. One such approach has been the creation of a first-of-its kind outcome-based Development Impact Bond (DIB) for poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. The DIB is a results-based funding tool, in which investors like SV2 provide upfront capital for Village Enterprise’s transformative poverty alleviation work. Investors receive their funding back if Village Enterprise’s target outcomes, which are based on measurable increases in consumption and net assets, are met. In just 3.5 years, the $5.26M DIB will be invested in 4,000+ sustainable microenterprises, transforming the lives of 12,000+ households. Village Enterprise’s continued commitment to large-scale, measurable impact makes them an invaluable addition to our investment portfolio.