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Classroom 109/Teaching Centre | Columbia Bible College | 2940 Clearbrook Road | Abbotsford, BC V2T 2Z8

Donor Impact Report

Ethiopians Driving Growth, Entrepreneurship, and Trade (EDGET)

Every dollar of your support has had $48 of impact!

Ethiopia 2019 Assessment Demonstrates Growing Impact of Project

Impact Report Data

Building Business Capacity and Incomes

In 2010, MEDA launched the EDGET project, with a focus on increasing incomes for 10,000 men and women farmers and weavers. The project aimed to help smallholder rice farmers and small-scale artisans access much needed supplies, finances, support services and hands-on training. The goals included helping to increase their access to growing markets and improve their productivity through more effective techniques. As a result of MEDA’s work, many Ethiopian rice and textile entrepreneurs are producing high-quality products and reaching new and growing markets, which is driving growth and improving incomes and livelihoods. We see that the project indirectly helped to increase education, health and opportunities for their children and family members. ,

Today, EDGET continues to demonstrate positive, sustainable and GROWING impact on the livelihoods and businesses of small entrepreneurs in Ethiopia.


Your Support in Action

2019: Bosena continues her journey with MEDA through the EDGET—follow-on project EMERTA (Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-business), receiving training and mentorship to support her business growth in the rice sector.
Bosena's story

Meaningful & Sustainable Impact: EDGET 2019 Assessment


Since project close, producer incomes continued to increase by an average of 34%. Producers have nearly doubled their assets since project close.


73% joined a savings and loan group and continue to see benefits today.
EDGET-initiated loan program to support business growth.


30 Chencha-based weavers continue to supply garments for Ethiopian Airlines flight attendants under an EDGET-facilitated contract.


82% received Gender Equality training that continues to have positive impact today.
Women reported more respect from husbands as a result of training and business activities.

Download the full report to see more results by the numbers


Support Michael White in the Limestone Century Ride

Daw Nan

Daw in Myanmar

Michael White

Michael White

You can make a difference for women in Myanmar

One in four of the 53 million people living in Myanmar live below the poverty line and those living in rural areas are the most vulnerable. Rural women are among the country’s most marginalized groups. Though they play an active role in agricultural production and markets, women still experience barriers that prohibit them from fully participating in a growing economy. A wide wage gap between women and men also exists, and women often struggle to access financing, market information, and higher-growth markets.

I am doing a 100 mile bike ride in Kingston this Sunday, the Limestone Century Ride, and I would like to use the opportunity to raise $1,500 to help 15 women from Myanmar. Because of the funding from Global Affairs Canada, every dollar you give will have over $7.00 of impact. I hope you will decide to join me by donating $100 to help hardworking women like Daw Nan, who although she was not able to attend school herself, through this project is now able to provide an education for her children.

MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) aims to strengthen the participation and status of 25,000 women in the Myanmar economy. We will support rural women and women-owned businesses involved with vegetables and rice to grow their productivity and incomes, increase their access to financial services, and take on leadership positions in market and community systems.

Every gift has an impact, no donation is too small – if five people give $20 each that will make an enduring difference in the life of a woman in Myanmar. Thank you.

Michael White

Donate to support Michael today!

Select from the options below and continue to make your payment securely online. Please note: Each individual needs to be registered separately.

Join us for dinner and a chance to hear Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, MEDA’s new President and CEO!

Doors open at 5PM | 6PM Dinner | 7PM Program

Tom and Trinda Bishop's backyard | 5385 Autumn Dr. | Greenwood Village CO 80111

Join us on June 7 for a special opportunity to engage with the MEDA Board while also networking with other professionals and entrepreneurs in the fields of economic development, impact investing and gender equity.


Hear from expert, Majid Mirza, Sr. Program Manager at MEDA on addressing the trade financing gap for small and medium enterprises in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Learn how you can be part of creating business solutions to poverty.


Doors open at 7pm | Presentations begin at 7:30 | Networking reception to follow in foyer | Appetizers served | Free admittance


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Majid Mirza

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Accommodation Options

Holiday Inn
Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre
3063 South Service Rd
Burlington ON L7N3E9
$159 per night.
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Quality Hotel Burlington
950 Walkers Line
Burlington, ON L7N 2G2
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Jordan Valley Links

Enterprise Development for Women and Youth in the Jordan Valley

Jordan Valley Links

2016 - 2021

In the Jordan Valley, entrepreneurs in general have poor and limited access to markets, business development services, and finance; these constraints are particularly exacerbated for women and youth. In addition, societal and cultural perceptions towards women’s and youth’s work and their role in entrepreneurship are neither encouraging nor favorable. As a result, promising entrepreneurs are not able to bring their good ideas to fruition or to develop job-creating businesses at a time of heightened economic fragility in Jordan. Entrepreneurship, innovation and risk-taking among women and youth are hindered by the lack of support, infrastructure, and cultural restrictions.



To increase the contribution by Jordanian women and youth to Jordan’s economic growth. This will be done by improving entrepreneurial and business acumen of women and youth and by reducing barriers to entry (market and societal/cultural) for enterprise development.


25,000 women and youth


Global Affairs Canada

Success Stories

Intisar, entrepreneur in Jordan

Intisar’s Husband Supports Her

A Jordanian woman becomes an entrepreneur with her husband’s support. “My husband was my first customer”, says Intisar Al Marabi, a new food entrepreneur selling pickles in an impoverished area in Balqa governorate in Jordan, northwest of the capital Amman

Read Intisar's Story
Samah inside the Bed and Breakfast

Samah and Ibrahim’s Bed & Breakfast

To get to where she is today, Intisar had to get past a few barriers that usually stop women from entering the business world in Jordan. The main constraint was the way the community criticizes her as a woman who leaves her house to earn a living. Another was her lack of knowledge in business management and fear of failure.

Read About the Bed & Breakfast

Latest News

Intisar, entrepreneur in Jordan

A Surprisingly Cool Desert in Summer

In 2005 the Royal Society for the Conversation of Nature (RSCN) established a one-of-a-kind ecolodge in the heart of Wadi Feynan in Dana Biosphere Reserve named Feynan Ecolodge. Four years later, a partnership was initiated between the RSCN and EcoHotels who took over the management and operational responsibilities of the lodge.

Read About the Ecolodge



Qalsoom’s Kitchen - A women entrepreneur emerges as a role model in Um Qais

Al Harra Fogga Café

Al Harra Fogga Café - A budding youth-led enterprise Supporting Saleh to grow his new business

Anwar Al Shwayat

Biscuits Baked with the Flavour of Hope - Local entrepreneur Anwar Al Shwayat


Intelligent Blooming - Wijdan operates a nursery, where she sells plants, flowers and an array of herbs

Connect With Jordan Valley Links

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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. 

Mennonite Economic Development Associates was born out of the need to provide small businesses with capital, business training, microloans and investment. That's what we continue to do today. 


MEDA timeline of events


In 1969, the founders of MEDA moved their services and expertise to countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The members realized that other communities around the world were struggling with some of the same challenges the Mennonite refugees faced in Paraguay - lack of access to finance, credit, business training and investment. As businessmen, they understood that it was not lack of will, rather, it was lack of access to knowledge, skills and capital. They realized that they could be part of the solution and help people raise themselves out of poverty by supporting small businesses all over the world. This new awareness inspired a new mission and vision - to create business solutions to poverty. 

MEDA Timeline



RecordkeepingAt MEDA, measurement matters. We don’t wait until the end of our projects to evaluate success. From the moment a project begins, we gather data to understand whether our interventions are achieving the results we expected, what we can learn, and which approaches need to be refined to help our clients reach their true potential.

MEDA strives for results. We use a Results-Based Management (RBM) approach and tools to collect and manage robust data related to our intended results. From project design to implementation all the way through to wrap-up, we focus on feedback loops to learn how each project can best contribute to our clients’ economic empowerment and prosperity.

Sustainability is important to us, and we want to see our clients continue to grow their incomes and operate successful businesses even after we leave. We measure key business performance indicators among past clients three years after our projects close and use this information to continually improve how we create business solutions to poverty.

Our measurement tools and approaches:

    Rolling Baseline

    In many of MEDA’s projects, staggered entry of clients allows us to manage and improve interventions over the course of the project based on early results. Clients enter the project in a series of cohorts, which begin receiving interventions at different times within the life cycle of the program. A rolling baseline methodology allows us to use a “before and after” one-group design. The logic of this design is simple yet effective. Program participants are assessed before they work with MEDA and then again throughout their interactions with us.

    Using baseline information collected with the entrance of each cohort, the project has a series of data collection points offering a “rolling” perspective on the pre-MEDA socio-economic conditions of clients. By comparing data collected at each of these points, a “rolling” control group is established.

    Additionally, by comparing data at a single point in time from cohort 1 after one year to that of cohort 2 at baseline, we have an ongoing perspective on the progress of the project. In this way, we can establish a quasi-control group analysis. This technique mitigates ethical challenges related to traditional control group studies, whereby control respondents are not given access to the benefits of working with MEDA.


    MEDA uses surveys to establish cause and effect relationships in the lives of our clients. We sample our entrepreneur and business clients and ask questions on variables to measure the effectiveness of the project activities, as well as key performance indicators.

    Surveys are comprehensive, attributable, and allow our teams to gather the data they need to assess key indicators related to the business success and wellbeing of our clients. Usually conducted annually, they allow us to measure project results over time.

    Mobile data collection

    Mobile data collection is the use of mobile phones or tablets for data collection in rural and inaccessible places. Two main advantages include data available online in real-time and data errors are reduced.

    MEDA works with mobile data collection platforms that allow offline data entry, allowing us to collect data from rural clients. We customise surveys to collect specific data needed by our teams, such as income data, enterprise performance and capacity, business metrics, photographs, GPS coordinates, and even photos.

    Having this data at our fingertips faster allows MEDA to quickly pivot and make decisions based on realities on the ground.

    Focus group discussions

    Focus group discussions (FGDs) are interviews, but of 6-10 people at the same time in the same group. FGDs are designed to elicit qualitative data.

    FGDs consist of diverse groups of people whose reactions are studied to understand the impact of MEDA’s work and measure performance indicators.

    Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members. During this process, the researcher either takes notes and records the vital points he or she is getting from the group. Researchers select members of the focus group carefully for effective and reliable responses.

    Most significant change stories

    The most significant change (MSC) story approach is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. MEDA involves stakeholders at different levels to discuss the sorts of changes expected and to review which are the most important. This method is valuable for learning about what types of unanticipated changes may be occurring in a project.

    At its core, MSC is a simple process of asking our clients what changes they have seen in their lives since working with MEDA, and why these are important. MSC is an effective monitoring tool because it can occur throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people to manage the program.

    It can evaluate project efforts because it provides data on impact and outcomes to assess the performance of a program. It is not based on pre-defined indicators but instead involves a systematic process of selecting the most significant stories, chosen by a panel of designated stakeholders.

    Our publications


    MEDA takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the complex environmental issues our programming encounters. We incorporate a range of environmental assessments that ensures our work provides ecologically sustainable approaches to poverty alleviation. Across our programming, Cross-Cutting Services' environmental experts assists both MEDA staff and clients realize a more equitable and sustainable approach, one that ensures our work is ecologically sound.

    Read more about our Environment & Climate Change approach:

    What qualities do you look for in internship candidates?

    • skills and ability required to successfully perform the work assignment, based on work or volunteer experiences and academic background
    • interest in international development work and career goals
    • language capacity
    • suitability / readiness for living and working in a cross-cultural environment
    • flexible, independent, self-directed, and motivated

    How important is language capacity?

    Fluency in the native language (usually Spanish) is a preferred advantage, however, the main consideration will be the applicant's ability to complete the work assignment. Fluency in the language is not a requirement for any of the internships. The advantage of knowing the native language will only be in relation to the language capacity of other applicants for the same position.

    What expenses are covered?

    All direct expenses are covered including items such as: round-trip airfare, housing, health insurance, and other related direct costs such as work visas and vaccinations.

    How much money will I need to contribute?

    MEDA does not require interns to contribute any money toward the internship. All costs will be provided through GAC funding, or by MEDA. Please note: The housing and living allowance is modest, and designed to provide enough money for safe and comfortable living conditions. Participants should not expect to have savings accumulated from the living allowance at the end of the assignment.

    When does it start?

    MEDA typically hires Interns for departures in January and July. Please visit our Careers page to see any available opportunities. Once hired, all Interns attend an orientation session in Waterloo, Ontario.  Interns will depart to the field to begin the work assignment following the orientation.

    How flexible are the departure and return dates?

    The Orientation Session is mandatory and once the date is set, it will not be flexible.
    • Departure: Several factors will influence when you will be able to depart for your field assignment including: the host country's schedule, airfares, work visas, and your schedule.
    • Return: Many of our interns have taken the opportunity to travel after completion of assignment before returning to Canada. This is undertaken at their own expense.

    What type of orientation / training do you provide?

    An Orientation Session will be provided prior to departure. During this session, you will receive a thorough introduction to: MEDA, our philosophy and methodology; your specific assignment and history of MEDA's work in the country; training in specific research and reporting techniques; review of intercultural effectiveness; and other general background on travel and work overseas.

    How are overseas living accommodations arranged?

    We put our interns in contact with the host MEDA Country Manager and previous interns to explore options for living accommodations. Although MEDA provides support, it is ultimately up to the intern to arrange a place to live. All of our interns have found places to live through contacts that MEDA has provided.

    Volunteer AuditorsClick here to download the brochure

    We require volunteer auditors to assist MEDA’s internal auditor with audits in our field offices around the world. Each audit is usually two weeks in length.

    MEDA volunteer auditors support MEDA’s vision that all people may experience God’s love and unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families and enrich their communities.

    If you…

    • are interested in experiencing a project from the local office perspective,
    • have a desire to share your time and talents,
    • wish to witness firsthand the integrity of local staff,

    …then serving as a volunteer auditor with MEDA might be for you!


    Ideally, volunteer auditors have audit experience, but we are interested in hearing from individuals who have some accounting knowledge. The ability to speak the local language in the field and international travel experience are assets.

     How to Apply

    • Express your interest to MEDA by emailing your resume to
    • Our team will follow up with next steps


    MEDA asks that Volunteer Auditors consider covering the full cost of their trip as a gift to the MEDA project they are auditing. However, if this is not within your means, we still encourage you to apply as an auditor!

    If you have additional questions, please check out the Volunteer FAQ section or email 



    MEDA's Next Generation Programming

    Calling all next-generation changemakers - MEDAx is your space.

    Engage with peers who care about sustainable, co-created, respectful solutions for those experiencing poverty around the world.

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    Through MEDAx events and activities, learn more about MEDA's values-driven international work.

    Participate Icon - Hands Raised

    Share your ideas on how we can continue creating business solutions to poverty for generations to come.

    Connect Icon - People Interlinked

    This newly-launched initiative is quickly growing! Check out how you can join the community.

    MEDAx welcomes you to MEDA. Connect with us today!

    Get In Touch

    Canadian Inquiries

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    Chris Brnjas

    U.S. Inquiries

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    Vanessa Hofer

    MEDAx At Convention

    Here’s your chance to reset, learn, grow and be a next generation changemaker.

    MEDAx is a bonus track of events and actvities at MEDA convention, held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Tucson, AZ. 

    MEDAx is designed for young professionals, by young professionals. 


    Questions? FAQs located here. For the latest details, follow us on our Facebook event!  

    Take the leap and join us in Tucson, Arizona from

    October 31st to November 3rd 2019! 

    Register Now!
    Learn Icon - Graduation Cap

    MEDAx is all about the experience. Last year, we went go-karting. This year, mix and mingle with peers at TopGolf Tucson on Friday night, and explore the desert via jeep on Saturday afternoon. All for no extra cost.

    Connect Icon - People Interlinked

    Find your professional mentor on Saturday morning at the MEDAx Mentorship Mingle.

    Explore Icon - Compass

    MEDAx workshops include The Developing World and You; Impacting Investing 101: It's not just for the pros; and a two-part course on the Enneagram in the workplace. Pictured: André Vashist, MEDAx presenter & Director of Social Innovation at the Pillar Nonprofit Network

    Participate Icon - Hands Raised

    Registration for MEDAx includes all the activities and events of a full-time MEDA convention attendee. Hear from Angie Bastian, co-founder of BOOMCHICKAPOP®, at the closing plenary dinner on Saturday night.

    MEDAx at Convention brought together a community of diverse perspectives that enlighten our approaches to capacity-building, community engagement and social justice.

    - MEDAx 2018 Participant

    Meet the 2019 MEDAx at Convention Planning Committee

    Meet your peers planning MEDAx for MEDA convention in Tucson! This team of 10 features next generation leaders and MEDA supporters from communities across the United States and Canada. We can't wait to host you in Arizona this fall! 

    Spread The Word

    Promote MEDAx and the MEDA Pitch Competition with students, colleagues, friends, and family with posters and postcards. All print-ready MEDAx and MEDA Pitch Competition materials are made available to you.

    Get In Touch

    Canada Inquiries

    Chris Brnjas headshot

    Chris Brnjas

    U.S. Inquiries

    Vanessa Hofer headshot

    Vanessa Hofer

    MEDA Pitch Competition

    Thank you for your interest in MEDA’s pitch competition for young professionals!

    Recipients will be notified via email no later than October 4. For questions, please contact Vanessa at

    Questions about MEDA?

    We would love to hear from you!

    Media contact: Krista O'Brien,, 226-499-9038 or 1-800-665-7026
    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am - 4:30 pm EST

    MEDA Logo Download

    The original MEDA logo was developed in the early 1970s at the time of MEDA's incorporation. The colour green and the images of the globe and leaf symbolize growth, renewal and our international scope of operations. The logo was refreshed in 1996, making it more contemporary with current design. While it has been changed to a word mark, it retains its original green colour, Pantone 356C (Hex#007A33 - R0 G122 B51 - C91 M4 Y100 K25), incorporating the globe into the letter D, with a leaf stemming from it.

    Please referece the MEDA Corporate Colour Palette and Clear Space around the MEDA logo(s) documents in your media creation.

    Below are MEDA Logos in various formats for your use. Please use Adobe Illustator or Adobe EPS files whenever possible to maintain high resolution on printed material.

      MEDA-Logo-Green-tn MEDA-Logo-Black-tn MEDA Logo White tn
      Pantone 356U Black White (no black)
    Adobe Illustrator Download Download Download
    Adobe EPS Download Download Download
    Adobe PDF Download Download Download
    PNG Download Download Download
    JPG Download Download

    About the MEDA Logo - Healing a fractured world

    For many years MEDA was depicted by a globe-shaped symbol which the corporate statement described as follows: "Many persons in the world community are suffering because of spiritual, social and economic needs. Hope and new life for a broken world is symbolized by a growing leaf. By showing concern and sharing, the void is filled and wholeness is restored."

    The symbol was initiated by Milo Shantz and designed by Glenn Fretz in 1974.

    Previously MEDA had used a symbol of a handshake to represent "brotherhood economics."

    In 1974 a new charter was acquired for MEDA Canada, and the original MEDA charter in the U.S. was changed from profit to non-profit status. The timing was right for a new symbol. "We wanted something fresh," Shantz recalled later.

    The symbol was revised in 1996. The new visual identity built on the old by utilizing a contemporary typeface along with a stylized "D" that retained the globe and leaf motif. It, too, was designed by Glenn Fretz.

    Employee Links

    Email Login Photo Library Board Login

    MEDA Travel Tracker Check In

    To check in, enter your three digit Travel Sec # below:
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    It is your responsibility to ensure that your travel itinerary is complete and up to date. By checking in, you are confirming that the detailed itinerary submitted is accurate. If your itinerary has changed, please send details of that change to .
    Are you passionate about MEDA's mission? Do you believe in MEDA's work of sustainably creating business solutions to poverty? MEDA is always looking for dedicated and passionate individuals who want to share their time and talents. Join us because together we can do more!

    Picure 14Get Involved

    Volunteer Auditors

    Do you have accounting or audit experience? Consider serving as a Volunteer Auditor at a MEDA field project! We require volunteer auditors to assist MEDA’s internal finance team with audits in our field offices around the world. 

    Volunteer Business and Technical Experts

    Are you a business professional with senior level work experience?  MEDA is looking for individuals with specific business or technical expertise to volunteer with the Enabling Growth through Investment and Enterprise (ENGINE) Program in Tanzania.  

    Business Volunteer Program

    MEDA's Business Volunteer Program is designed to create relationships between MEDA business volunteers and business leaders who work in similiar industries or have similiar business models.  The program supports a 6-month remote mentorship relationship which includes a 1-2 week in-country visit. Stay tuned for more details!


    You can make a difference in the world! Explore MEDA’s local and international internship opportunities! Click here to learn more


    Check out our Volunteer FAQs page. If you have additional questions, email 

    Stay connected!

    Interested in hearing more from MEDA? Subscribe to MEDAzine

    How climate change impacts men and women differently

    Env Climate Change Slide5

    Climate change not only impacts agriculture through weather events such as drought – it also is expected to exacerbate current gender inequalities.

    Women are on the frontlines, which is why the impacts of climate change – weather events like floods, droughts, storms etc. – further burden them disproportionately in terms of:

    • Agricultural productivity – Women may produce less since climate change makes it harder to perform these tasks.
    • Disasters are more likely to kill women – They are often the last ones to leave due to responsibility of care for children and the elderly.
    • Time – Droughts and lack of access to water means women and girls spend more time collecting water and travelling further and further to do so. Water collection usually falls to women and girls.

    The agricultural sector is often the biggest contributor to a developing country’s GDP. It is often the sector most of the population relies upon for their livelihood in these countries. Women make critical contributions to agriculture in developing countries: On average, women comprise 43% of the agricultural labor force in developing countries (20% in Latin America to 50% in Eastern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa).

    One thing women have in common across regions is that they have less access than men to productive resources and opportunities – land, education, finance, labor and decision making/leadership roles.

    The depletion of natural resources and decreasing agricultural productivity caused by climate change place additional burdens on women and reduce their time to participate in decision-making processes and income-generating activities.

    Climate-related disasters have been found to impact female-headed households more severely, too, particularly where they have fewer assets to start with. If women had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase yields, ultimately raising total agricultural output in developing countries, which could in turn also strengthen food security.

    How climate shocks and stresses further burden already struggling populations

    Climate-related shocks can include:

    • Natural disasters that destroy assets and livelihoods;
    • Waterborne diseases and pests that become more prevalent during heat waves, floods, or droughts;
    • Crop failure from reduced rainfall; and,
    • Spikes in food prices that follow extreme weather events further burden those already vulnerable.

    Such shocks also can impact those who are not poor and drag them into poverty – for example, a flood destroying a microenterprise, a drought eliminating a herd, or contaminated water making a child sick. Over 96% of disaster-related deaths in recent years have taken place in developing countries. Often, climate shocks can set back the development process for decades.

    NEXT >


    How climate change impacts various issues and sectors

    Env Climate Change Slide3

    Climate change impacts various issues and sectors:

    • Health – Negatively affects the health of poor people, increases the prevalence of vector-borne diseases (for example malaria), and with increased severe weather events, vulnerability to water borne diseases.
    • Economic growth – Climate change is expected to alter the path and impede economic growth due to changes in natural systems and resources, infrastructure, and labor productivity.
    • Food security – Climate change poses a threat to food security by reducing natural resource productivity and by exacerbating malnutrition.
    • Water and Women – Climate change further reduces access to drinking water, and as a result, prevents women’s empowerment since women and girls will have to spend more time and energy obtaining water, for example in times of drought. This is time that could be used for educational or income-generating activities.

    NEXT >


    A climate sensitive approach to economic growth

    Env Climate Change Slide2

    We need to re-frame development by recognizing the links between climate action and poverty.

    Those who are most vulnerable are often most severely impacted by the negative impacts of climate change. That vulnerability may be:

    • Geographic – SIDS (small island developing states), coastal areas, developing countries
    • Financial – those living in poverty, or
    • Gender – men and women are impacted differently

    A climate sensitive development approach requires the understanding that these vulnerabilities, especially those that come with climate change, may impact different populations differently.
    Climate change threatens the developing world in new ways, and it would be counter-productive to our goal to ignore this reality.

    NEXT >


    Terms used in Climate Change

    Env Climate Change Slide1
    NEXT >
    Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world.

    Canada Flag US Residents click here to donate

    Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world.

    Canada Flag Canadian Residents click here to donate

    Learn about issues facing women in developing countries.

    about MEDA's projects that empower women to rise above social and cultural barriers toward improved livelihoods.

    Engage with MEDA and our various projects around the world in countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Libya, and Kenya.

    a generous donation* at each meeting to benefit MEDA projects.

    “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.”
    – Kofi Annan, Ghanaian diplomat and former Secretary-General of the United Nations

    “I do passionately believe in encouraging more women to be part of this group,” said Jan from Souderton. “We have a tremendous opportunity to do something about issues that affect women...and to change the world.” Read more online.

    Donate   *Tax receipted by MEDA.

    2019 Meeting Schedule

    Waterloo: February 7, May 2, October 3 and Dec 5 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Community Room at 50 Kent Ave., Kitchener, ON N2G 3R1. RSVP to: Katie West: / 519-725-1853 x330
    Lancaster: More information coming soon! 
    Delaware Valley: More information coming soon!
    Northeast Ohio:
    Contact Eva Keim at 330-763-4317 or via email at
    For more information, call Vanessa at 717-560-6546 or email

    Women Empowering Women

    At MEDA, you will contribute to enduring livelihoods through Partnerships, Innovation, Results and Impact. Through the strength of our business network, and our professional and entrepreneurial staff, we inspire real change for both individuals and local businesses in poverty-stricken communities.

    MEDA is recognized as a global leader in pro-poor development, inclusive financial services, market systems and investments – particularly for women, youth and rural populations.


    MEDA’s strength is found in its passionate people and positive work environment. We believe in MEDA’s mission and are purposeful and entrepreneurial in creating business solutions to poverty.

    Total Rewards

    Work is more than earning an income at MEDA. We provide competitive total reward packages like competitive pay, comprehensive benefits, flexible working arrangements, and supportive employee programs.


    We are a diverse team committed to our core performance values: respect, entrepreneurship, collaboration, and accountability. These values reflect our Mennonite roots and our commitment to business solutions to poverty.


    We are dedicated and talented team who are committed to making an impact. We trust, collaborate, care, and support each other and celebrate together.


    MEDA’s senior leadership team is committed, ethical, visionary, and has an open door to all. We foster an environment that encourages leadership from all levels of the organization.


    MEDA places a high priority on staff growth and development. We provide opportunities for professional development initiatives that contribute to career growth and organization expertise.


    Though our work may take place in seemingly faraway places, MEDA supporters’ time, generosity and spirit fuels MEDA’s projects, staff and clients’ work. Join us!

    It is now easier than ever to be a create social change close to home. You can join MEDA in eliminating one of the world’s toughest issues – poverty.

    MEDA is an industry leader in creating innovative, sustainable business solutions to poverty. 

    We have over 60 years of tried-and-true experience working in partnership with thousands of clients in dozens of countries. This work could not happen with support from partners, leaders and changemakers all over the world. Join us and become part of a community of like-minded individuals to network, learn, and create change and build a better future for others - together.

    MEDA Convention 2019

    MEDA's Network Hubs play a pivotal role in engaging and mobilizing supporters and participants for one of the largest gatherings of business professionals annually: MEDA Convention. Network Hubs act as the facilitators for Convention Grants. Check out everything you need to promote, manage, and distribute Convention Grants.

    Stay in touch with what's happening with the MEDA Network

    What is the Network?

    The MEDA Network is an umbrella term for any supporter-led event or activity that promotes MEDA’s mission and vision. By joining the MEDA Network, you become a MEDA ambassador.

    As a part of the MEDA Network, you might plan or participate in a one-night-only or limited-time-only MEDA event. This could be a MEDA get-together in your hometown, at your school, through your church, or in your own backyard.

    You might also join the MEDA Network as a leader or participant of a Network Hub nearby. Or, you can start your own Hub!

    What are Network Hubs?

    Formerly called chapters, Network Hubs have been a MEDA staple in communities across the United States and Canada for over 30 years.

    Hubs are ongoing committee-operated affinity groups. Think of Hubs as local clubs for anyone and everyone excited about MEDA’s life-changing work.

    New_network_photo MEDA - General

    These groups build awareness about MEDA in their local community through annual meetings, events and activities.

    Get started today!

    There’s a role for everyone at MEDA.

    We want to partner with you to empower thousands of entrepreneurs, business owners, farmers, employees and employers all around the globe.

    Join us today in creating business solutions to poverty and join the MEDA Network!

    Ready to learn more PIC
    For U.S. inquiries, contact Vanessa at or 717.560.6546

    For Canadian inquiries, contact Chris at or 226.499.8992

    Investments that benefit the poor …
    another way MEDA creates business solutions to poverty

    Mariana TGP client

    The MEDA Risk Capital Fund (MRCF, formerly the Sarona Risk Capital Fund) provides early stage capital, an important source of funding for young companies. MRCF invests in promising companies in developing countries where we see both an excellent prospect of financial success and economic benefit to poor communities.

    Your donation can help make it happen!

    Experience and innovation for lasting impact

    MEDA's first investment – in 1953 – was a dairy serving small farmers in Paraguay's Fernheim Colony. The Sarona Dairy, named after the fertile biblical Plain of Sharon in Israel, became a smashing success.

    As our partners in Paraguay repaid the investment, MEDA created a pool of capital to re-invest elsewhere on behalf of the poor.

    That investment was repaid in full in 1972. The Sarona Dairy closed a few years ago, but that initial investment spun off a variety of dairies that today provide a large portion of Paraguay's milk products.

    That was the beginning of MEDA – a pioneer in sharing risk with the poor – decades ahead of today's emerging impact investing trend.

    The MEDA Risk Capital Fund (MRCF) provides capital, both directly and through funds, to growing companies.

    Now with $19 million in total assets managed, MRCF achieves MEDA's mission of creating business solutions to poverty and creates funds to invest in these companies.

    Today, MEDA also co-invests with private investors through the MRCF 1 LP fund.


    MEDA is committed to serving poor communities. MRCF focuses on ...

    • leveraging profitable market and business opportunities, and,
    • offering solid social and environmental dividends,

    ... while providing strong growth and financial returns to reinvest.

    We believe investing for social impact is a powerful way to sustainably increase the prosperity, health and wellbeing of millions of families around the world.

    Current projects around the world


     Market Systems






     Gender Equality and
     Social Inclusion



     Financial Services


    MEDA has an extensive library of videos available on many different topics from around the world.

    Explore our complete listing below:



    Gender and Social Inclusion

    Financial Services














    MEDA Convention 2018

    MEDA Convention 2017

    MEDA Convention 2016

    MEDA Convention 2016 - MEDA Next Talks

    MEDA Convention 2015




    Join our big, bold campaign


    Join our big, bold campaign


    Join our bold campaign

    Building Enduring Livelihoods

    Donate Today!

    Every dollar counts when each dollar you give will be leveraged 7x in impact with matching funds from institutional partners! Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world. Your gift will go towards one of MEDA’s 25 global projects, to help an estimated 10 million entrepreneurs lift their families and communities out of poverty.

    Join our bold campaign

    Building Enduring Livelihoods

    Donate Today!

    Every dollar counts when each dollar you give will be leveraged 7x in impact with matching funds from institutional partners! Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world. Your gift will go towards one of MEDA’s 25 global projects, to help an estimated 10 million entrepreneurs lift their families and communities out of poverty.

    Join our big, bold campaign


    You can make a difference in the life of an entrepreneur

    At MEDA, we invest in big dreams. We partner with trusted, local businesses in over 60 countries to provide effective and sustainable change that can be measured and scaled. We know that when we work together, we can create sustainable and effective solutions to poverty. BE PART OF THE SOLUTION. Let’s use business to provide solutions to poverty. TOGETHER. Give today!

    Your shopping cart


    Your gift is multiplied in impact up to seven times, on average, through funding from government and organizational donors.

    Join the Campaign and support MEDA’s bold vision

    Building Enduring Livelihoods

    MEDA’s business-solutions approach to poverty is having an amazing impact and garnering much attention. As a result, there are a growing number of opportunities to get involved – increasing impact beyond what we ever dreamed possible. Your financial gift is what makes this a reality!

    Help us Reach the Finish Line Today!

    $47.5 Million

    gifts and commitments made to date

    $2.5 Million

    remaining to meet our target

    10 Million

    entrepreneurs will be impacted positively

    Building Enduring Livelihoods Campaign

    An exciting opportunity to help 10 million entrepreneurs

    Today, through our Building Enduring Livelihoods (BEL) campaign, we’re working to fund 31 major MEDA projects, which will help an estimated 10 million entrepreneurs lift their families and communities out of poverty.

    Through this campaign, we’re looking to raise $50 million in private donor support, which will unlock over $300 million dollars from institutional funders to support this work. This means every $1 dollar given by you will be leveraged 7X in impact with matching funds from institutional partners.

    Working together to reach our goal

    We’re excited to report that, as of April 2019, we have:

    • $47.5 million in commitments
    • 6.4 million entrepreneurs and their families are living more dignified, prosperous lives

    Together, we are still looking to secure $2.5 million in private donations to help 3.6 million families and reach our goal.

    MEDA works with partners like you! We need sponsorship at all levels and thank you in advance for doing what you can to help us extend our reach – and help more people around the world build sustainable livelihoods!

    Thank You

    Thank you to everyone who has given to this campaign. Together we are making a real and lasting change in our world.

    MEDA around the world faces top

    Join our campaign

    Help us reach the finish line today!

    In the United States:

    Michael Miller
    Sr. Director, Resource Development, Western U.S.

    Bethany Nussbaum
    Sr. Development Officer, Central U.S. and Florida

    Ruth Leaman
    Sr. Development Officer – Campaign Director, Eastern Seaboard

    In Canada:

    Dean Shoemaker
    Sr. Development Officer, Eastern Canada

    John Goossen
    Sr. Development Officer – Western Canada

    Dave & Ester DeFehr

    Building Enduring Livelihoods has relevance everywhere ... it is one of the most important initiatives we in the developed world can be involved with!”

    - Dave & Ester DeFehr

    Executive Leadership Team

    Dr. Dorothy Nyambi

    Chief Executive Officer and President

    Kim Pityn

    Chief Operations Officer

    Gerald Morrison

    Chief Financial Officer

    Michael White

    Chief Strategic Engagement Officer

    Susie Cochran

    Executive Assistant and Board Relations Manager

    Programs Team

    Dr. Linda Jones

    Vice-President of Partnerships & Innovation

    Jerry Quigley

    Sr.Vice-President of Programs

    Resource Development

    John Goossen

    Sr. Development Officer for Western Canada

    Mike Miller

    Sr. Director of Resource Development

    Ruth Leaman

    Sr. Development Officer, Campaign Director

    Bethany Nussbaum

    Sr. Development Officer

    Dean Shoemaker

    Sr. Development Officer

    The MEDA Board of Directors

    The MEDA Board of Directors is composed of volunteer members who bring together diverse skillsets in areas including entrepreneurship, finance, business operations, and investment. The board develops and guides organizational strategy, provides governance oversight, and proactively monitors risk (fiduciary, operational, reputational, etc.). Members serve a maximum of three 3-year terms. Four core committees operate within the board: executive, finance, audit, and nomination. For more information on the work of each committee, click on the links below.


    Tim Penner

    Chair / Kansas, USA

    Jenny Shantz

    Vice Chair and Nominating Committee member / Ontario, Canada

    Zach Bishop

    Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair / Colorado, USA

    Gary Leis

    Secretary / Ontario, Canada

    Board of Directors

    Abe Fehr

    Audit Committee Chair / Ontario, Canada

    Albert Friesen

    Past Chair / Manitoba, Canada

    Crystal Weaver

    Nominating Committee member / Pennsylvania, USA

    Dallas Steiner

    Ohio, USA

    Donovan Nickel

    Colorado, USA

    Gregory Gaeddert

    Finance Committee member / Kansas, USA

    Jeremy Showalter

    Washington, USA

    Jim Alvarez

    Indiana, USA

    Jim Miller

    Finance, Audit and Nominating Committee member / Florida, USA

    John Schroeder

    British Columbia, Canada

    Joyce Bontrager Lehman

    New Hampshire, USA

    Karin Krahn

    Alberta, Canada

    Marianne Unruh

    Audit Committee member / California, USA

    Myrl Nofziger

    Audit Committee member / Indiana, USA

    Pat Vendrely

    Executive member and Nominating Committee Chair / Indiana, USA

    Peter Dueck

    Executive and Nominating Committee member / Manitoba, Canada

    Rick Martin

    Finance Committee member / Ontario, Canada

    Verda Beachey

    Florida, USA

    Yvonne Sieber

    Nominating Committee member / Kansas, USA

    MEDA's expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and equity investment. Our work most often focuses on women, youth and people living in poverty in rural areas.

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

    Areas of Expertise

    Market Systems

    Meda Mkt Sys orange

    Since our inception over 65 years ago, MEDA has worked with small entrepreneurs, small and medium enterprises and large firms to improve livelihoods and wellbeing by building and strengthening business foundations and contracts. We design solutions that can be duplicated and scaled, enabling entrepreneurs to reach local and global markets and grow their business. We promote innovative business models, promote relationships with new suppliers and new distributors, identify new products, markets and channels to market, leverage targeted subsidies and encourage the participation of underserved populations. We also address market network challenges such as policies, environmental practices and gender inequalities that hinder growth of all businesses.

    Read More


    Meda investment gold

    MEDA is a recognized leader in the area of blended finance. Small and medium enterprises – the engines that drive economic growth in developing markets – need investment capital to flourish. “Blended finance” – leveraging public and philanthropic funding to attract private capital – is critical to enterprise growth and benefits women, youth, and vulnerable populations. MEDA provides assistance to enhance the impact of investments and help entrepreneurs build profitable businesses serving poorer customers, reducing investor risk. It can include challenge grants, mentoring, training and development of a network of organizations involved in the delivery of a product or service (ecosystem). Our commitment to gender lens investing considers benefits to women while investing for a financial return.

    Read More

    Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

    About Icon1

    MEDA is on the forefront of empowering women and youth as drivers of economic and social change. We aim to reduce social and systemic barriers to their ability to earn a dignified livelihood by starting and running a business.This includes facilitating access to markets and financial services and providing information on how to start or grow a business so they can help themselves and their families. We work with diverse partners, particularly in the private sector, to link these vulnerable and sometimes isolated people-groups to associations and other organizations where they can meet and learn from other entrepreneurs, build skills and share ideas.

    Read More

    Financial Services

    Meda FS blue

    Since the 1980’s MEDA has pioneered solutions to ensure more people have access to banking and insurance, playing a critical role in the development of rural financial institutions in Tajikistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Haiti, Jamaica, Mozambique and Nicaragua. In the last 10 years, we have provided technical assistance to over 40 microfinance institutions and banks in 22 countries, encouraging the development of products focused on underserved women and men. Poor and struggling households can upgrade or expand their business activities to better provide for their families. We also specialize in technology for financial transactions, community-based savings and lending, and support services for micro to medium-sized enterprises.

    Read More

    Gift Planning with MEDA

     gifts that give back – gifts that benefit MEDA clients and your family

    Become a Legacy Partner … By making a planned charitable gift.

    What are your goals for the present and future? Some of them may be big, while others are small. Yet if you are like most of us, you are looking for some important basics:

    These can include:

    • Security for you and your family
    • Tax considerations
    • Income for life

    It is possible to achieve all of these goals with some planning.

    Please follow the links at left for learn more about the many benefits of gift plans for US and Canadian residents.

    Charitable Bequest

     make a gift to MEDA in your will
    Planned Giving 2A charitable bequest is a gift that anyone can arrange at any life stage. If you have children or own property, you need to have a plan for the future. We hope you’ll include MEDA. A charitable bequest is still the easiest way for you to help our mission.

    Your attorney can include language in your will or trust directing that a gift be made to MEDA. Your estate will benefit from an estate tax charitable deduction and you will have peace of mind knowing that you have helped create business solutions to poverty.

    Charitable Gift Annuity

     create a lifetime income for yourself
    Planned Giving 3There are a few things in life we can do for ourselves that also benefit others. A charitable gift annuity (CGA) is one of them. A CGA is a simple contract between you and MEDA, where you agree to donate a sum of money, stock, or other appreciated assets to MEDA. In return, we agree to pay you a fixed percentage of that amount every year for as long as you live.

    There is a solution – a plan that provides you with fixed payments for life. You may avoid capital gains tax and leave a lasting gift to MEDA.

    Make a gift…

     grow your assets
     Did you know there is a way to make a gift to MEDA and receive income that could grow over your lifetime? A charitable remainder trust is an arrangement funded with your cash or appreciated assets. The most common trust will pay you income each year based on a percentage of the trust assets.

    Your income has the potential to increase over time with growth in the trust. This means more income for you and more remaining assets to help MEDA in the future. To view an illustration of the benefits of a charitable trust, call us today!

    Make a gift now…

     receive income later in life

    Planned Giving 5You may not be ready yet for retirement, but if you are thinking about the future, a deferred charitable gift annuity is one way for you to make a gift now for income in the future.

    When you make a gift of your cash or an appreciated asset (like stock) to MEDA today, we will promise to begin paying you income at a future date. This income will be fixed, meaning it will never change and will be paid to you at a rate based on your age and the payout date you select.

    Creating business solutions to poverty

    MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates - is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to poverty. Founded in 1953 by a group of Mennonite entrepreneurs, we partner with people living in poverty to start or grow small and medium-sized businesses in developing regions around the world.

    We work alongside our partners and clients, funded by both private and institutional donors, to help:

      • Alleviate poverty
      • Support sustainable business growth and livelihoods
      • Women move into more valued and equitable roles in their economies
      • Businesses and small entrepreneurs gain access to financial services including investment, adopt clean technologies/climate-smart approaches, and minimize their environmental footprint
      • Improve local economies

    We alleviate poverty by creating sustainable livelihoods for women and men, measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge and the creation of more jobs.

    Our methods have been proven time after time over our 65 years of experience. We've worked in 62 countries helping 103 million families, creating jobs for people, improved access to suppliers and customers resulting in broad impact on entire industries such as agriculture, tourism and food processing.

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

    Our Approach

    MEDA's economic development is accomplished with two key resources: investment and advisory services for our clients. Our work is not done until it is proven to be sustainable, replicable, scalable and measurable. We also apply a gender lens approach to investment. To achieve this, all the work that we do is approached through two important lenses: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion and Environment and Climate Change

    At MEDA, measurement matters. We don’t wait until the end of our projects to evaluate success. From the moment a project begins, we gather data to understand whether our activities are achieving the results we expected, what we can learn, and which approaches need to be refined to help our clients reach their true potential. We share our learnings with our partners and have a comprehensive Monitoring and Impact Measurement system integrated into every project.


    While the focus of gender equality and environment and climate is embedded into the core of each of our projects, MEDA's expertise includes a full range of economic development tools: financial services, improved technology, business training, better access to markets and investment. Learn more

    Our Values, Mission, and Vision

    • We seek to create, sustain and innovate.
    • We treat clients, colleagues and partners with respect and dignity.
    • We promote justice for the poor by helping them develop entrepreneurial skills and seize economic opportunity.
    • We value partnerships with the poor and others regardless of gender, race, class, ethnicity, nationality or religion.
    • We carefully manage human, financial and environmental resources by emphasizing accountability, discipline and sustainability.

    MEDA History

    If you would like to donate to MEDA through your bank, you may do so using the MEDA banking information below. Donors will receive a German donation certificate by mail, which is valid in other EU countries. Contact our office at the information below to arrange easy monthly donations.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at +49 2622-906184 or email Titus at .

    Bank account for Europe:
    Bank name: VR-Bank Neuwied-Linz
    IBAN: DE 60 57460117 0001151281

    Within Germany:
    BLZ: 57460117
    Konto: 1151281

    In Germany/Deutschland:
    Steuernummer: 32/670/5012/7
    Freistellungsbescheid vom 11. April 2011

    Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world.


    Your gift enables MEDA to bring hope, opportunity and economic well-being to millions of people around the world.


    Rug workers in KhenifraMEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates) is an association of compassionate women and men who invest in people living in poverty around the world so they can unleash their potential to earn a livelihood to provide for their families and enrich their communities.

    Women Walking To GROW Top Banner4Join us. Be one of the 100 heroes, trekking 100 km, raising $50,000.

    Join us in trekking 100 km of the Bruce trail from July 18th to July 21st to help women and youth in Nigeria!

    Bruce Trail Sign and Blaze whiteSign up today!

    Create a team

    10km Sign Up


    Fundraising Requirements: We are asking each person to commit to a minimum fundraising goal of $100 per day to support the MEDA Nigeria WAY program.

    Responsibilities: Each person is responsible for obtaining their own accommodation, travel, food, water and trekking equipment and supplies for the week long 100 km trek. Once you sign up, our committee will provide additional information and a checklist to assist with your planning.

    Important trek information

    Women Walking To GROW Top Banner4Join us. Be one of the 100 heroes, trekking 100 km, raising $50,000.


    Women Walking to GROW - Event Calendar

     July 2019 








    24.4 km

    Felkers Falls to Sherman Falls

    19 FRIDAY



    25.4 km

    Sherman Falls to Smokey Hollow Waterfall on Waterdown Road




    22.1 km

    Join us for a 1-day walk and celebration
    Twiss Rd and Kilbride St Burlington to Kelso Park

    21 SUNDAY



    26.7 km

    Smokey Hollow Waterfall on Waterdown Road to Kilbride Park, Burlington





    Women Walking To GROW Top Banner4Join us. Be one of the 100 heroes, trekking 100 km, raising $50,000.

    Send a message of support to a participant or inquire about Women Walking to GROW using the form below:

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    Women Walking To GROW Top Banner4Join us. Be one of the 100 heroes, trekking 100 km, raising $50,000.

    Detailed information about the trail can be found online at

    *Guidelines for using the trail can be found here:

    the bruce trail

    MEDAHike Map

    INFRONT: Impact Investing in Frontier Markets


    VIEW Full Screen


    INFRONT is working throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America to expand the ability of SMEs to access investment capital, adopt and implement enlightened business practices, and accurately measure social impact.

    Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) play a pivotal role in driving economic growth in emerging economies, however they face significant challenges to improving their businesses.

    Led by MEDA, and in partnership with Sarona Asset Management and the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing, INFRONT is comprised of two key components:

    1. Investment: The Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 2 LP (SFMF 2 LP), a fund of $150 million, is investing in up to 18 local funds for onward investment in approximately 130 SMEs that have potential for high development impact. Investors include OPIC, MEDA, Sarona, and private investors, spurred by an innovative and catalytic $15 million contribution from Global Affairs Canada.

    2. Technical Assistance Facility. The technical assistance facility is made up of three components:
      1. Sustainability Innovation Grant Fund. This fund provides economic incentives for at least 30 SMEs to improve the sustainability of their operations, with a focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and practices.
      2. Global Fund Manager Mentorship Program. This program will match 20 experienced North America private equity managers as mentors with fund managers in frontier and emerging markets.
      3. Impact Measurement.  Building on existing social performance platforms, MEDA is developing an Enhanced Monitoring and Evaluation System (EMES) to support more rigourous impact measurement.

    For more information, take a look at our resources (eg. case studies), videos, or contact Majid Mirza (


    GAC small en SAM logo MaRS logo MEDA Logo Green