At the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland income inequality and corruption were singled out as the two most serious challenges facing the world. And at an OECD policy forum, Richard Freeman, professor of economics at Harvard University, said "the triumph of globalization and market capitalism has improved living standards for billions while concentrating billions among the few. It has lowered inequality worldwide but raised inequality within most countries."1
Nearly 60 years after MEDA first invested to create new economic hope for desperately poor farmers in Paraguay, our mission is even more relevant. Today, as then, we remain committed to creating business solutions to poverty for the poorest of the economically active. While economic growth has raised living standards for many millions in low income countries, there is an ongoing and growing need for the poorest to unleash their entrepreneurship and create sustainable livelihoods for their families.
Our Enduring Values continue to create Lasting Impact. Reflecting our faith values, we endeavor to be honest in all that we do; to build relationships that promote trust and peace; and to demonstrate practical and creative business solutions, where we share with the poor in the risk that these entail for them. We believe partnering and investing with local business structures is the most efficient way to help the poor gain access to the capital, markets and training they need. We leave behind profitable businesses or institutions that continue MEDA's work long‑term. And, we believe collaboration with others in this work is vital to ensuring good stewardship of God's resources.
We believe we have succeeded when our work is sustainable, measureable, scalable and replicable. How have we done?
This year we were able to help a record 20.2 million families realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 150 partners in 60 countries we reached:
These numbers do not count clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.
Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $3 million in private contributions through government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of nearly $47 million, up 42% from last year.
Assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 6% to $16 million, private direct investment in MEDA programs increased 33% to $41 million, and assets under management rose 9% to $178 million.
We were grateful to see a net surplus of $928,000, resulting from an operating surplus of $1.1 million and a net loss of $153,000 in the value of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund.
We are particularly pleased when clients and partners tell us that their financial and health improvements were only a part of the story. In Haiti, we heard dozens of women talk about how they had been helped by MEDA's partner, Fonkoze, and how they felt truly cared for and respected. Fonkoze said this was also what they felt from MEDA staff and that is why they appreciate so much our long‑term relationship.
We are immensely grateful to our supporters and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help build enduring values, lasting impact and open doors for God to create hope. We invite you to join in this work.
Allan Sauder, President
Allon Lefever, Chair
1 As reported by the Conference Board of Canada at http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/worldinequality.aspx