2019: Celebrating Impact Across the Globe

2019 has been an exciting year for TechnoServe. From the launch of our new tech initiative to being named the #1 nonprofit for fighting poverty, here’s a look back at the highlights of another eventful year helping enterprising people around the world create positive change.

TechnoServe organized an event with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs on January 16, which featured graduates of TechnoServe’s ENGINE program in Ghana, sharing their experiences and thoughts on how to improve entrepreneurship opportunities for other youth across Africa. TechnoServe’s global entrepreneurship director, Juan Carlos Thomas, described the lessons learned from the ENGINE program, and how it laid the foundation for even more impactful entrepreneurship programming in the future.

Since 2017, TechnoServe has been working with Nespresso and local coffee farmers to restore Zimbabwe’s coffee industry through the Reviving Origins program. In May, Nespresso launched the the single-origin coffee Tamuka Mu Zimbabwe (“Awakening of Zimbabwe”), an espresso from Zimbabwe’s Honde Valley. For farmers in this region, income from coffee represents a ticket out of poverty.

In August, TechnoServe announced the launch of a new drone project that will support climate-smart growth in Benin’s cashew industry. The new initiative to harness drone technology and computer learning will help at least 10,000 farmers adopt climate-smart agricultural practices by leveraging BeninCajù’s work developing Benin’s public extension services.

Technology can be a powerful tool for fighting poverty. In September, we launched TechnoServe Labs, a new initiative that partners with technology companies to identify, test, and implement solutions that can transform the lives of millions of hardworking people across the developing world. TechnoServe uses technology across our programs in order to reach more people with proven approaches that can improve their knowledge, skills, incomes, and opportunities.

In 2017, Puerto Rico lost 80% of its coffee trees following Hurricane Maria. TechnoServe, the Hispanic Federation, and Nespresso have partnered to restore Puerto Rico’s vibrant coffee industry through the Reviving Origins program. In September, Nespresso launched a limited edition coffee called Cafecito de Puerto Rico. Through these efforts, Puerto Rico’s coffee farmers have been able to improve their incomes, and help lead Puerto Rico forward into a more hopeful future.

In November, TechnoServe launched a new website. This new site better reflects the scope of our work and makes it easier for visitors to find the information they need.

In November we were also named the #1 nonprofit in the category of fighting poverty by ImpactMatters – an independent nonprofit ratings agency. The evaluation focused on metrics that showed nonprofits’ results, as opposed to only analyzing nonprofits’ overhead rates or other financial or governance indicators. In ImpactMatters’ analysis of TechnoServe, a donation can result in income gains for entrepreneurs in developing countries of more than 30 times the donation amount. “We are very proud to be recognized by ImpactMatters for the effectiveness and efficiency of our programs,” says Will Warsahuer, president and CEO of TechnoServe.

This month, TechnoServe is celebrating the official closeout of the Strengthening Rural Youth Development Through Enterprise (STRYDE) program. Since 2011, TechnoServe has been working with the Mastercard Foundation to help rural young women and men in East Africa transition to economic independence. Over nine years, the program reached over 60,000 young people, bringing essential technical and soft skills training that has allowed them to start new businesses and transform their lives. In October, Cooper Swift, STRYDE regional program director and Jahazi David, STRYDE regional program manager, shared lessons learned from the project at the Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit (GYEO) in Washington, D.C.