Who We Are

Creating business solutions to poverty

MEDA – Mennonite Economic Development Associates – is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. For nearly 70 years, MEDA has been creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, measureable and replicable.

MEDA began as an association of Mennonite business people who believed they were called to be faithful in generously sharing their abilities and resources. Continuing in that Christian tradition, MEDA welcomes all who share our values and want to join us in our mission.

MEDA has worked in over 70 countries and brings a unique market systems approach to project design that integrates technical assistance and access to capital. As an early leader in innovative finance, MEDA leverages public and private funding to advance social enterprises around the world that are positively impacting social, environmental and governance challenges in their communities. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

We believe that all people deserve the opportunity to earn a livelihood and that unleashing entrepreneurship is a powerful way to alleviate poverty.


That all people may unleash their God-given potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families and enrich communities.


MEDA creates business solutions to poverty.


Collaboration: We value inclusive and diverse partnerships regardless of income, gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality or religion. We build relationships of trust and peace.

Accountability: We manage human, financial and environmental resources with care and integrity. 

Respect: We treat clients, colleagues and partners with respect and dignity. 

Entrepreneurship: We seek sustainable innovation. We promote justice by partnering with entrepreneurial people experiencing poverty to attain business success.


Strategic Plan

MEDA launched a new strategic plan, Towards an Equal World, in July 2020. With an overall goal to create or sustain decent work for 500,000 people, MEDA will focus on achieving impact at scale and focusing on creating system-level change.


MEDA’s origins are rooted in the aftermath of World War II when thousands of Russian and East German Mennonite refugees fled to Paraguay. There, they established strong communities that were grounded in peace, justice, and entrepreneurship. Many of these refugees were skilled craftspeople and capable farmers who were eager to set up their own businesses, but lacked the necessary financial capital and key resources.

2020 Annual Report

Through your generous support, MEDA continued to make a lasting impact in FY20, helping 1,902,227 clients (direct and indirect) in 58 countries realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives through our work with 664 project and investment partners.

Building Sustainable Solutions

Discover MEDA’s projects around the world