Lasting Impact for a Stronger Future
If we’ve learned anything from recent years, it’s how difficult it is to plan for the future.
Pandemics hit, markets change, weather patterns shift. And for those in vulnerable communities, it is essential that they have the resilience to withstand these shocks.
That’s why TechnoServe exists: to help these individuals gain the skills, connections, and financial power to build a better life–no matter what the future holds.
This past year–despite continued global disruption–TechnoServe applied its time-tested business approaches to ensure that 407,000 people in low-income countries achieved measurable, sustainable financial gains, spreading positive impact to their families and communities.
These people now have greater resilience and greater power over their own future. People like Nimmaka Varahalamma, who overcame restrictive gender norms to lead a 700-member farmer group in her community. Or María Roselia Alonzo, who used TechnoServe’s expanded digital training to grow her small business and her income. We share their stories, and more, in this report.
But to expand this impact in a rapidly changing world, TechnoServe must also prepare for the future. In 2021, we undertook an ambitious strategy review to help us provide our clients with the best tools to meet new and evolving challenges.
Our new strategic plan will be finalized later this year. It is a plan developed to deliver significantly more impact to significantly more clients around the world. Key parts of this strategy will include:
- Improving Incomes and Ecosystems. To respond to the growing threat our clients face from climate change and environmental degradation, TechnoServe will embed “regenerative business” practices across all our programs. This approach helps people increase their incomes while also improving the environment and reducing their emissions footprint.
- Strengthening Food Systems. Poor people around the world rely on local food systems for their incomes and their sustenance. As food systems strain under climate change and other threats, TechnoServe will scale up our work to help make these food systems more inclusive, more sustainable, and more nutritious.
- Expanding Job Opportunities, Especially for Youth. Reliable employment is critical for security, health, and economic development. But millions of people in low-income countries—especially the world’s record numbers of youth—struggle to find good jobs. Drawing on its business training expertise, TechnoServe will expand its work helping people secure productive employment, enabling businesses to create new jobs, and empowering youth with marketable skills.
This new plan is grounded in TechnoServe’s core mission of more than half a century: helping people build their own path to a better future.
This year, people across the world worked with TechnoServe to build these paths forward—overcoming challenges from pandemics, climate change, restrictive gender norms, and a host of other threats.
As long as there are people with the drive to achieve a better life, TechnoServe will be there to walk beside them—now, and for years to come.
Here’s to the future,
Will, Rachel, and Michael
- William WarshauerPresident and CEO
- Michael BushManaging Member, BIV Investments
- Rachel HinesFormer Managing Director, J.P. Morgan
Our Impact in 2021
Amid ongoing social and economic uncertainty, TechnoServe helped people around the world to make enormous strides in improving their incomes, their resilience, and their lives. Here is what we achieved together in 2021.
Hover/click the boxes below to show the meaning behind the numbers.
This number reflects the life-changing impact of greater earning power: small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs who can now build better, stronger futures for themselves and their families.
Women often face restrictive gender norms that not only limit their potential, but that of their families and communities. TechnoServe tracks women’s revenue gains closely in order to better support them in overcoming gender barriers and improving their lives.
This metric records how much total revenue increased for people and businesses benefiting from TechnoServe’s work. It’s a figure in dollars – but its real importance lies in what people do with this money.
Across the world, the people we work with use improved incomes to send their children to school; secure health care; build better houses; or buy books, clothes, and toys to bring joy to their families. Many are able to save money for the first time.
2.3 million lives improved
based on household members of beneficiaries (reported or national average)
Learn more about TechnoServe’s impact measurement methodology, including recent updates, at technoserve.org/impact.
Behind the Numbers
Working with TechnoServe in 2021, thousands of people achieved sustainable, market-based impact that improved their lives and the lives of those around them. These are the people behind our impact numbers. People like:
A smallholder farmer who gets better prices for her coffee through improved growing techniques and access to new markets
A food processing operator who gets the technical advice he needed to bring a more nutritious, affordable product to millions of consumers
A small-scale entrepreneur who can access a microloan at an affordable rate, expand her business, and better support her family
A coffee wet mill employee who learns environmentally sustainable processing techniques, which improve the value of a community’s coffee while protecting its local ecosystem
A small business owner who can get a loan at an affordable rate and hire more employees
Impact by Region
“Life has really changed for the better…I pay half the rent at home, I buy food, and also send some money to my father in the village. We don’t have to miss meals anymore because we can’t afford them.”
– Ruth Nabatanzi, welder, Uganda
Impact by Country
Click or tap a country to see its 2021 impact data.
“I was able to earn additional income, which I have saved for my daughters’ school fees…I feel so much more confident now.”
– Rajkumari Akhilesh, farmer and micro-entrepreneur, India
Impact by Sector
Click or tap below to see sub-sector impact.
Other Commercial Agriculture
Other Enterprise Development
Sector Spotlight: Regenerative Business
The world faces the growing challenge of climate change and the loss of natural resources, but it also has an enormous opportunity: to create an economy that is more inclusive and that benefits nature and the climate.
TechnoServe’s approach promotes regenerative business: farms, enterprises, and markets that not only avoid harming the environment, but that actually help to restore natural resources, reduce emissions, and sequester carbon — all while delivering better, more resilient livelihoods to farmers, workers, and entrepreneurs. To make this vision a reality, TechnoServe is applying its business-focused approach to identify lasting solutions that benefit both our clients and the planet.
Regenerative Business in Action
What does this look like? It looks like smallholder farmers using new practices to make their farms more resilient and profitable. In Honduras, the MAS+ program has provided training to nearly 40,000 coffee and bean growers on important low- and no-cost practices to improve yields, protect against climate risks, and steward natural resources. These include:
- Pest management
- Planting shade trees to protect coffee plants, improve yields, and sequester carbon
- Soil management and nutrition
- Cultivating fruit crops to diversify their incomes
It looks like entrepreneurs starting new businesses that benefit the oceans and the climate. TechnoServe has worked with the International Union for Conservation of Nature to identify promising economic activities, such as farming seaweed, that will allow residents of coastal Kenya to earn better livelihoods while sequestering carbon and supporting marine biodiversity. At the COP 26 meeting, TechnoServe was announced as one of the founding partners in the Great Blue Wall Initiative to protect vital seascapes.
It looks like companies supporting sustainable, inclusive supply chains. Through the Margarita Dairy project, Danone purchases milk from nearly 500 smallholder dairy farmers in Mexico. Farmers have access to agricultural training, a stable and profitable market for their milk, and loans, some of which are used to purchase green infrastructure like solar panels and cooling tanks. As a result, farmers’ incomes have nearly tripled, while carbon emissions have fallen by 13%.
Goals for People and the Planet
Because it is so important to the future of our planet and our clients, regenerative business is a key component of TechnoServe’s new organizational strategy. Working closely with partners around the globe, we will incorporate regenerative-business solutions across our portfolio of programs.
Learn more about TechnoServe’s regenerative business work here.
Building Better Futures Today
TechnoServe works with our clients to overcome fundamental barriers to better incomes, like gender inequality, climate threats, and systemic market challenges. Here’s how we worked with people around the globe in 2021 on fundamental changes that improve lives and livelihoods for the long term.
“On the climate side, developing the farm while being responsible for the environment was a challenge, but a worthy one…We have seen the difference in the ecosystem.”
– Elisa Alicea Sanchez, farmer, Puerto Rico
Highlights of 2021
TechnoServe expanded its work in West Africa with two multi-year, multi-million dollar projects to enhance the cashew sector.
A new report from TechnoServe shared proven techniques to help farmers triple their coffee yields in Ethiopia.
With the expansion of a large entrepreneurship training program, TechnoServe began working in Colombia again for the first time in years.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, TechnoServe joined with public and private partners to launch the Gorilla Coffee Alliance, which will promote coffee farmer livelihoods and conservation efforts.
Drawing from months of survey data and program adaptations, TechnoServe released its “COVID-19 Impact Report: Rebuilding Global Livelihoods,” with practical guidance for economic recovery.
TechnoServe’s “Beyond Extraction” partnership was named a finalist for the prestigious P3 Impact Award, which recognizes top public-private partnerships.
TechnoServe released the groundbreaking Micronutrient Fortification Index, a tool to help the public and private sectors fight malnutrition in Nigeria.
At COP 26, TechnoServe served as a founding partner in the launch of the Great Blue Wall initiative, an effort that will build local livelihoods through ocean conservation.
“Now I hear fathers telling their daughters that they had better do well in order to become great entrepreneurs like me. My success has had an impact on the perception of my community members.”
– Danielle Adétola Adanlawo, small business owner, Benin
TechnoServe strives for maximum accountability, transparency, and efficiency. See our consolidated financial report at TechnoServe.org/Financials.*
End of Year Assets: $19,139,089
2021 Board of Directors
“We are happier, more motivated, and more hopeful for the future.”
– Axel Gutiérrez, farmer, Nicaragua