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Strategic Initiatives Team
We believe in a sustainable world where all people in low-income communities have the opportunity to prosper.
That's why TechnoServe hires the brightest minds in business to tackle the challenging, fascinating, meaningful work of fighting poverty by harnessing the power of the private sector.
For over 50 years, TechnoServe has used business principles to achieve positive social change. Since then, we have been recognized as a world leader in developing inclusive, sustainable business solutions to help millions around the world.
Working with Nespresso to revive the coffee sector in Puerto Rico after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Developing online learning tools to digitize ecommerce retailers in partnership with Mastercard. Collaborating with Danone, Walmart, and strawberry farmers in Mexico to enable sustainable, regenerative production. Partnering with Anglo American and the Inter-American Development bank to create jobs across Peru, Chile, and Brazil — a program that was named one of five finalists for the P3 Impact Award for public-private partnerships.
All of these are recent projects designed by TechnoServe’s Strategic Initiatives team, as we partner with multinational corporations to use business solutions to solve poverty. Aligning the interests of these companies with those of local people working to escape poverty creates self-sustaining relationships that deliver lasting value – both for the companies and for the enterprising women and men they work with.
“One of the world’s top five non-profits for corporate partnerships”
“TechnoServe has changed the calculus for poverty alleviation and changed the world in the process – one project, one partner, one life at a time,”
–Muhtar Kent, Former CEO, The Coca Cola Company
“A new type of NGO…that understands the importance of productivity and value creation”
–Harvard Business Review
“TechnoServe is unique: it understands what innovation means and it is a proven leader in organizing and implementing scalable partnerships with private companies to achieve win-win results.”
–Peter Erickson, Former EVP Innovation, Technology, & Quality, General Mills
“Working for the Strategic Initiatives team was one of the best decisions I made professionally and personally. I had the opportunity to work with major corporations like Nespresso and Anglo-American to develop inclusive agricultural supply chains across eight countries in rural Africa and Latin America — and make meaningful friendships around the world.”
–Hadia Shah, Strategy & Insights, Google (Former Strategic Initiatives team member; McKinsey Engagement Manager)
We are committed to quantifiable impact for the clients we serve. For example, since 2011 we have partnered with Anglo American to support:
About Strategic Initiatives
Since 2012, the Strategic Initiatives team has led TechnoServe’s work with multinational corporations to design inclusive and profitable corporate business models that improve incomes for farmers and small businesses.
TechnoServe then replicates the most successful models across geographies, developing systems to drive even more impact for farmers and small businesses.
These new business models cannot happen in isolation from the broader community context– partnerships are key to making them work. TechnoServe engages local and national governments to ensure these new approaches align with government priorities. We identify and work with local finance institutions to ensure farmers and entrepreneurs are able to invest and grow their businesses. Finally, we strengthen local organizations to ensure that new business models reinforce local community structures and do not replace them.
No two projects are alike, and the specific nature of projects depends on the evolving needs of our corporate partners and the communities in which they operate. However, projects often include climate change considerations (e.g., regenerative agricultural practices), technology (e.g., geo-spatial mapping, chatbots), and consortium building. Typical projects include:
- Supporting development of strategies to drive poverty reduction and resilience to climate change
- Conducting diagnostics to develop the business case and implementation plan for specific projects around the world
- Supporting our implementation teams in ensuring projects generate both impact and value
The Strategic Initiatives team works closely with TechnoServe’s experts in the following key areas:
“I will always be deeply grateful for my time at TechnoServe and the SI team. It was challenging but incredibly rewarding – working with multinational corporations, food processors, mom and pop shop owners, and farmers in 8 different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The work has led me to Stanford GSB and Harvard Kennedy School, where I continue to build on what I learned from my time at the SI team”
-Juli (Hye Ryeong) Cho, BCG Consultant (Stanford Graduate School of Business MBA ’21 / Harvard Kennedy School MPA ’22, Former Strategic Initiatives team member)
Meet some SI team members
Strategic Initiatives team members combine top-tier business advisory / management consulting experience with a commitment to our mission. We are a global team that works in close collaboration with TechnoServe offices across Africa, Latin America, and India.
These are the kinds of things that get me out of bed every morning.
Hear From Our Interns
During the summer before my senior year of college, I had the opportunity to intern with the Strategic Initiatives team at TechnoServe. As part of a team working on a local sourcing project in Ethiopia, I was entrusted with significant responsibility and trusted to contribute meaningful work. My summer with SI was my first professional experience where I wasn’t confined to the typical role of an intern but encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and take on new challenges each week. I also saw firsthand how TechnoServe places impact at the core of our projects and conducts work that has the potential to truly improve peoples’ lives. My decision to return to SI full-time was an easy one. I don’t think there is a better place to work on projects that achieve large-scale impact while collaborating with peers who are just as passionate about improving livelihoods and reducing poverty.
– Lars Peterson
(Former Strategic Initiatives Intern)
During my internship experience with TechnoServe, I had the incredible opportunity to explore and shape my career path in the dynamic field of international development. One of the most transformative aspects of my internship was the hands-on experience I gained by working closely with and interviewing members of the communities we aimed to serve. This not only deepened my understanding of their unique challenges and aspirations but also allowed me to witness the profound impact of our organization’s initiatives firsthand.
– Jasmine Nguyen
Undergraduate Student at Stanford
(Former Strategic Initiatives Intern)
“I left SI to pursue my MBA & MA in International Studies at Wharton / Lauder. The strategic and on-the-ground experience I gained while on SI has been extremely useful in an academic context. For example, I'm writing my Masters' thesis on sustainability in the coffee industry!”
-Ginny Maceda, Senior Manager of Mission & Sustainability at Danone (The Wharton School MBA / The Lauder Institute MA in International Studies ‘23, Former Strategic Initiatives team member, Bain & Co. Consultant)
“On the Strategic Initiatives team, we have the dynamic, results-oriented, data-driven, and collaborative environment of a management consulting firm, but we deal with problems that I feel truly passionate about solving. Close contact with TechnoServe's program teams in Latin America and Africa makes the work much more tangible and real, and we also have the opportunity to conduct fieldwork, making the job really rewarding and unique.”
– Thiago Chang, Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives (Former Bain & Co. Consultant)