Learn more about TechnoServe

1. Tell us about your mission.

TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with hardworking men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

2. How is The West Foundation supporting your mission?

The West Foundation is currently supporting our efforts to reduce poverty by helping women smallholder cocoa farmers in San Martin, Peru to sustainably improve their livelihoods and ensure the full integration of women farmers into the cocoa market. In the past, the West Foundation has supported many other impactful projects, such as strengthening our Monitoring and Evaluation systems for our projects with small-scale entrepreneurs, as well as supporting smallholder farmers in Tanzania’s tea industry to improve their livelihoods.

3. Considering your impactful work to eliminate poverty, how is The West Foundation’s philanthropic support providing you with sustainability and mobility?

The support of the West Foundation over the past several decades has enabled TechnoServe to become a catalyst for transformation in market systems, industries, and most importantly, people’s lives in the communities where we’ve implemented projects. Together, we’ve helped families around the world send their children to school, access healthcare, buy nutritious food, and build safer homes.

4. How are you realizing your potential?

TechnoServe was founded in 1968 on the premise that the power of private enterprise can transform lives, and that hardworking individuals in the developing world can lift themselves out of poverty. In 2019 alone, TechnoServe helped directly transform the lives of 317,493 people (38% women) by targeting improvements in farms, businesses, and industries. Our efforts generated over $200 million in increased revenues and wages for our beneficiaries and we helped hardworking individuals’ access $27 million in financing to help grow their businesses and farms. Last year, TechnoServe was also rated the world’s #1 nonprofit at reducing poverty by an independent evaluator, ImpactMatters. They assessed over a thousand nonprofits across different categories and determined that for every program dollar spent, TechnoServe delivers the greatest income gains for enterprising women and men in the developing world.

5. What’s one important thing you want others to know about your organization?

TechnoServe not only transforms individual lives—but also markets, sectors, and communities. We are committed to creating and measuring this lasting impact. We aim to report only the impact that is attributable to our work. We do this by establishing baseline data and using counterfactuals, control groups, or other methods to exclude the effects of variables outside of our control. We then analyze this data to identify successful project models and learn how to improve future approaches.

6. How can people reading this help you?

They can help by joining our efforts to change lives around the world. Every day, our supporters help us continue in our mission to assist hardworking men and women in the developing world to build sustainable farms, businesses and industries. Even during these challenging times, we are committed to helping our clients continue their fight to overcome the toughest obstacles, care for their families, and fulfill their true potential. None of this work would be possible without support from generous individuals.

7. What are your deepest needs as an organization?

The support we receive from foundations and individuals is critically needed, especially at this critical time. Funding for important projects like our work with cocoa farmers in Peru often depends upon TechnoServe’s ability to leverage and strategically utilize unrestricted and private support. Furthermore, unrestricted funding or strategically directed support is critical to our ability to innovate or pilot new types of interventions. These funds allow us to design programs before larger funding is awarded, to leverage funding after receiving an award and to continue implementing programs while honoring timelines related to specific large donors’ commitments.

Photo courtesy: TechnoServe