Creating business solutions to poverty
MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates - is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. For over 65 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 blended 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.
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.
MEDA's origins are rooted in the aftermath of the second World War when thousands of Russian Mennonites fled as refugees to the country of Paraguay. There, they established strong communities that were grounded in peace, justice and entrepreneurship. Many of the people that fled violence in Russia were skilled craftspeople and capable farmers and were eager to set up their own businesses, but they lacked financial capital, and key resources.Learn More
Theory of Change
MEDA's work is built on a foundation of Mennonite business roots and faith-based values, within the global context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We believe business solutions are effective interventions to address poverty. Through a market-systems approach and strategic partnerships, MEDA enables access to finance and provides business and technical expertise to build transformative agri-food market systems that create decent jobs, allowing traditionally excluded groups to become active participants in a sustainable economy.