ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT SIGNATURE INITIATIVE

ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT SIGNATURE INITIATIVE

Every family deserves to thrive.

Our goal, back in 2016, was to empower 4.4 million people by supporting improved and resilient livelihoods and providing recovery loans to those negatively impacted by shocks like COVID-19 and natural disasters. Thanks to generous support, in March 2022 we passed that goal and continue to impact more lives!
People reached so far:
2016
2023
March 2022
4.9 MILLION
Give to the Economic Empowerment Fund

The need

According to the World Bank, as of 2021 about 711 million people live in extreme poverty—an income of less than $1.90 per day.

The vast majority of the extreme poor live in rural areas and are made up of farmers and small business owners trying to eke out a living without the tools they need to lift themselves out of poverty.

Fully two thirds of the extreme poor are subsistence farmers - at least half of them female - with very small plots of land. Their farms barely meet the family’s minimum food needs, much less have product to sell.

After generations of poverty, many people in extreme poverty have developed mindsets of dependency that prevent them from breaking the cycle, even though the potential and capability needed are inside of them.

Economic-Empowerment-our-response2
Economic-Empowerment-our-response

Our response

We focus on rural farmers and small business owners in extreme poverty with a proven set of approaches called THRIVE (Transforming Household Resilience in Vulnerable Environments).

Biblical Empowered Worldview Training

Knowing that lasting change begins in the heart and mind, we teach a powerful scripture-based view of identity, responsibility, and accountability – participants build confidence and shift mindsets from dependence to agency.

Savings Groups and
Group Loans

We help organize community members into savings groups where they develop basic financial literacy and disciplines. Once savings groups are mature, we offer them loans through VisionFund to improve or expand their farms and small businesses.

Local Value Chain Development

To help increase profitability, we offer critical business knowledge, access to vital market information, coaching and support.

Our impact

A recent external study of our THRIVE model revealed game-changing results for participating farmers. And Recovery Lending helped more than 400 thousand entrepreneurs —7 of 10 female—keep their businesses open and families afloat through the pandemic.

40%

Farmer households in Tanzania who participated in THRIVE were 40% more food secure than the control group.

95%

95% of THRIVE households are avoiding negative coping strategies such as taking children out of school; sending children to work for money; reducing food intake; or selling off land, equipment, or livestock.

$2.7M

$2.7 million USD was saved by 3,433 active savings groups as of December 2021. Learn how savings groups work

$231M

$231 million in recovery loans were made to VisionFund clients from the start of RLR (July 2020) through the end of FY 2021 - 7 of 10 female.

$1=$2.66

Every $1 you donate for recovery lending becomes $2.66 in loans.

Our partners

We are blessed to partner with hundreds of Christian philanthropists and couldn’t do this work without them. And we’re able to reach more people because of our highly collaborative local and global partnerships within private and public sectors.

Robin Phillips

“We met a Rwandan woman farmer...she said, 'I thank God, World Vision, and this project because with what I have been taught, and what I know now, I am not in poverty anymore, … and I will never go back!”

Sandy_Hoover_SD_3

“I think one of the things that really touched us was these people. They don't want a handout. They want to be able to work for what they have. We believe in a hand up not a handout.”

Our team of experts

Christopher Shore Christopher Shore
Chief Development Officer, Economic Empowerment
Mona Davies Mona Davies
Senior Program Manager, Food Security and Livelihoods
Adrian Merryman Adrian Merryman
Chief Development & Impact Investment Officer, VFI