Our Impact

Village Enterprise employs rigorous methodologies to monitor our program and evaluate its impact.

Cutting-Edge M&E

Village Enterprise employs rigorous methodologies to monitor programs and evaluate impact. We use the Grameen Foundation’s mobile tech tool Taroworks to collect and analyze our M&E data.

ImpactMatters: Evidence of Impact

Village Enterprise has received a top rating in a rigorous “Impact Audit” with ImpactMatters, an organization co-founded by Yale economist Dean Karlan. ImpactMatters helps donors identify nonprofits that offer the best return on charitable dollars, as well as help nonprofits use data to deliver effective programs. Organizations are rated in four key areas: quality of evidence, cost of impact, quality of monitoring systems, and learning and iteration.



Typical Village Enterprise Program Participant

Lives below $1.90 per day

81% women*

Average age: 36 years old
(20-year-olds in youth-targeted program)

Has 6.5 dependents

Unemployed or subsistence farmer

*Women reinvest 90% of their income in their families and communities, compared to men who reinvest only 30% to 40% of their income. (Groundbreakers: Ernst & Young 2009)


We use locally defined poverty indicators via the Participatory Wealth Ranking process and IPA’s Progress Out of Poverty Index to ensure that 95% of our participants fall below the poverty line.


We use business plan applications, progress reports, exit surveys and business savings group surveys to track the progress of all business groups.


We conduct consumption and expenditure surveys and PPI surveys at the beginning and end of each training program to assess our impact. In addition, we are conducting an independent (RCT) to evaluate our program with 6,600 households across Uganda.


We produce internal performance reports three times per year to troubleshoot problems in a timely fashion and ensure the smooth implementation of program activities and expected outcomes.

Most Significant Change

We supplement our rigorous data collection with “Most Significant Change” profiles that highlight individual stories.

“In our portfolio of 180 NGOs, organizations, CBOs and non-profits, Village Enterprise has one of the most advanced, comprehensive, functional and integrated-into-operations Monitoring and Evaluation Programs, and is particularly sophisticated for an organization its size.”

Ash Lauren Rogers, MPA, Director of Operations, Segal Family Foundation

What We Do

Creating Sustainable Businesses. Transforming Lives.

The Village Enterprise Model

Working in rural African villages, Village Enterprise’s mission is to end extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. Our model is simple and cost effective, at just $500 per three-person business.


The Village Enterprise one-year graduation program provides groups of three entrepreneurs with seed capital, training and on-going mentoring by a local business mentor. We organize the business groups into Business Savings Groups (BSGs) of 30 entrepreneurs (10 business groups) to allow access to growth capital, provide a safe place for savings and build social capital. Integrated conservation training ensures that new business activities promote environmental best practices.

Village Enterprise has started over 39,000 businesses and trained over 156,000 East Africans. As we scale up and move into new communities, we’re designing and testing pilots to improve our impact and efficiency. Read more about this program.

“I appreciate that Village Enterprise focuses on the poorest of the poor. Microloans don’t reach this population; micro-grants can. Micro-grants are the first rung on the economic ladder.”

Jessica Jackley, Kiva Co-Founder & Author of Clay Water Brick

Where we work

Village Enterprise currently works in remote, rural areas of East Africa where more than half of the population lives below the extreme poverty line. We have a field team of over 125 employees, 95% of whom are East Africans in Uganda and Kenya, where we deliver the model with our own feet on the ground.

By 2018, we plan to expand to additional African countries through scaling partners.