2018 represented an important milestone for TechnoServe—our 50th anniversary working to alleviate poverty. Two things lie at the heart of our longevity: our ability to find business solutions to poverty and our exceptional global staff.
Something else that has long distinguished TechnoServe is our focus on understanding and meticulously documenting the impact of our work. That is why we are proud to share our Annual Impact Report, Growth for Good, which presents data on our impact, shares stories about how our work changes lives, and explores how we achieve these results.
Throughout the report, you will also find examples of how we are using new ideas and technology to benefit our clients. Whether it is using drones to detect pest outbreaks that can damage crops, mobile-phone platforms that reduce the cost and difficulty of sourcing crops from smallholder farmers, or new distance-learning tools that lower the cost of training small business owners, these new tools are changing how TechnoServe helps lift individuals out of poverty.
We also see that shared-value partnerships with multinational corporations are a powerful tool for tackling poverty. One example in the pages that follow illustrates how our work with Abbott in India has helped to reshape the dairy value chain, increase the supply of clean milk, and improve the livelihoods of smallholder dairy farmers. In 2018, we were able to expand several key partnerships. For example, we announced a new initiative alongside Nespresso to help Puerto Rico’s coffee sector rebuild from the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The report also underscores how the diversity of our projects and clients is expanding. Farmers represent the majority of people that TechnoServe works with, but our support of small and growing businesses has expanded significantly in recent years. In 2018, we raised more than $30 million of funding for entrepreneurship programs—a three-fold increase from 2015. This funding helps small businesses accelerate their growth, generating job opportunities, invigorating markets for other producers, and offering essential products and services to local consumers.
Whether we are supporting shopkeepers in Nairobi, coffee growers in Nicaragua, or food processors in Nigeria, all of our projects are designed to create lasting impact. Our approach does not focus on providing aid: we provide our clients with new information, new skills, and new connections to financing and markets. These are things that, once given, can never be taken away—so TechnoServe’s impact lasts long after our projects end.
That’s what growth for good means: creating change that brings real benefits to people’s lives and that is self-sustaining far into the future.
“TechnoServe has changed the calculus for poverty alleviation and changed the world in the process—one project, one partner, one life at a time.”
Chairman and Former C.E.O.
The Coca-Cola Company
“The amazing thing about TechnoServe is that once they come on board to support you, they hold you up all the way. They have walked with me on this journey, and as a widow and a mother of three, I require no extra financial support from anyone because of this project.”
“In TechnoServe, we found a partner who shares our belief that a steady, stable income can transform a young person’s perspective.”
President and C.E.O.
The Mastercard Foundation
“Through our relationship with TechnoServe, we have been able to help local entrepreneurs to launch and grow profitable businesses, providing the financing, managerial and business skills they need to succeed.”