Search our Site

Outcomes of your support

The Jordan Valley Links project (JVL) was created to give new and struggling businesspeople in the Jordan Valley a chance.

Thanks to you, they are achieving success!


Ons was no stranger to entrepreneurship when she was first introduced to the Jordan Valley Links project in 2018. Though she was a zealous businesswoman, her previous ventures proved unsuccessful due to a lack of access to training and the right support mechanisms.

With support through JVL, Ons began a new venture, a local grocery store. The nearest supermarket to Ons’ village of North Shouneh is miles away and residents often spent nearly as much money on transport to get there as they did on the groceries themselves.

Today Ons’ grocery store is a staple in her community. Thanks to you.

Read Ons's full story

The Jordan Valley is a highly educated region, yet aspiring entrepreneurs face multiple obstacles in business. For women and youth in the region, entrepreneurship and innovation are hindered by a lack of community supports and cultural restrictions.

Through strategic partnerships with the private sector, JVL aims to increase the contribution of women and youth to Jordan’s economy.

Here is how your support is making an impact in Jordan:




1,595 women and youth entrepreneurs trained on technical skills, business planning, access to technology
5,224 aspiring and existing women and youth entrepreneurs received financial education and soft skills training



3,115 women and youth entrepreneurs participating in formal business networks (including incubators)
2,703 women and youth entrepreneurs participating in informal business networks

Market Linkages


3,439 market linkages established and facilitated for women and youth entrepreneurs



2,416 women and youth entrepreneurs linked with mentors


Download the full report to see more results by the numbers



Learn more about JVL
Impact Report Data

Click play to view a special message from MEDA’s President and CEO, Dr. Dorothy Nyambi:

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!

Space is limited

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


0 MEDA - General

Majid Mirza

We invite you to make a difference and be a sponsor! Use the form below and a member of our team will contact you shortly:

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Invalid Input

Accommodation Options

Holiday Inn
Burlington Hotel & Conference Centre
3063 South Service Rd
Burlington ON L7N3E9
$159 per night.
Quote event name ‘peopleCare’

Quality Hotel Burlington
950 Walkers Line
Burlington, ON L7N 2G2
Quality Hotel web page
(905) 639-9290
$149 per night
Quote event name ‘peopleCare’

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



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

Facebook Instagram

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



En français En français




Measurement Matters

MEDA is committed to measuring lasting impact. Gathering data on the work we do to create business solutions to poverty informs our decisions, adaptations, and interventions. By collecting and analyzing data, we can best contribute to our clients' economic empowerment and prosperity.

Creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, replicable, and measurable is at the core of what we do. Our responsibility is to respond to the needs of our clients and adapt our services to best suit their families and businesses. How can we do this? Through the consistent monitoring of our impact through qualitative and quantitative measures.

Informing Data-driven Decisions

MEDA strives to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of our clients and partners. Ongoing learning is the foundation of our measurement systems. We work to confront our assumptions and respond when our solutions need adaption. Listening to the needs of our clients is paramount to creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable and change the world for the better.


Rolling Baseline Methodology

With staggered client entry, our projects use a rolling baseline methodology that allows us to understand the starting point of their well-being and business performance. Program participants are assessed before they work with MEDA and then again throughout their interactions with us.


Surveys are used to establish cause and effect relationships. Surveys are comprehensive, attributable and allow us to gather the data needed to assess indicators related to the business success and wellbeing. Usually conducted annually, they allow us to measure results over time.

Mobile Data Collection

Mobile phones or tablets are used in rural and inaccessible places to collect and manage data. Mobile data collection platforms allows us to customize surveys to collect specific data needed on income, enterprise performance, capacity, and take photos and GIS coordinates. The flexibility of mobile data collection allows MEDA to quickly pivot and make decisions based on the realities on the ground.

Focus Group Discussions

Focus group discussions are interviews with 6 - 10 participants. Designed to elicit qualitative data, focus groups are safe places for clients and partners to share about their experiences with MEDA's trainings, tools, and interventions. Questions are asked of the group and the researcher records the vital information shared by the group.

Stories of Change

The stories of change approach is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. MEDA involves stakeholders at different levels to discuss the 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, this form of story collection 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. Story collection is an effective monitoring tool because it can occur throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage and adapt the program over time.

These stories evaluate project efforts because they provide data on impact and outcomes to assess programmatic performance. Stories are 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.


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.

Nang Khin Swe Smiling

Nang Khin Swe's Story

Myanmar / IMOW Project

In Myanmar, women face many barriers to banking services, access to credit, business training and leadership opportunities. Nang Khin Swe is one women in her community who is challenging the status quo by making the transition from farming to sales agent. In her new role, Nang enters communities to buy produce and bring it to sell at the market. Nang received training and support from the MEDA Myanmar team in marketing, customer behavior and produce quality. This ultimately helped her learn her new duties as a sales agent and eventually recover previous losses. Nang’s second effort in collective crop selling was a huge success resulting in 2,228,000 MMK ($1,450 USD) profit, which created interest in other farmers to follow her lead. “This opportunity created a profession for me.” Through MEDA, Nang sought training for her farmers to increase agricultural processing quality so they could sell their produce for a higher price.

En français En français

Environment & Climate Change

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, environmental experts assists both MEDA staff and clients to realize a more equitable and sustainable approach, one that ensures their work is ecologically sound.

MEDA believes that the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation can empower business people of all income levels to act as leaders of environmentally-responsible growth. We work with businesses and entrepreneurs, and local partners to promote the business case for good environmental management and addressing climate change. Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes screening and assessment tools designed to mitigate environmental and climate change risks associated with our work, while supporting entrepreneurs in climate change adaptation and improving local environment conditions. MEDA also reflects our commitment to environmental stewardship by promoting sustainable waste and energy-use practices within our offices globally.

Environment & Climate Change Icon

Approaches and Models

MEDA’s Environmental Sustainability and Climate Resilience framework adheres to two core pillars and six points of action. Each of the points of action have accompanying tools, training and additional resources to support project staff in the field. A visual representation of the framework, at a high-level.

ECC Framework

Green Growth

Health & Environment

We recognize the relationships between communities and their environment and how environmental issues affect human health. We support environmentally friendly practices that promote proper use of natural resources, agricultural inputs and safe use of equipment and tools.

Climate Change Mitigation

We strive to reduce GHG emissions and use natural resources in more efficient ways within projects and support our partners to do the same.

Green Finance

We work with financial service providers and their clients to develop green business models and create financial products that promote environmentally sustainable business practices.

Climate Action

Gender & Climate Action

We acknowledge the gendered impacts of climate change and support women and other more marginalized clients to adapt through targeted strategies and activities, while leveraging their specialized knowledge and leadership to respond to climate-related risks.

Climate Change Adaptation

We support clients and partners, of all types and sizes, to adapt to a changing climate by building more resilient business models and value chains.

Climate Collaboration

We bring like-minded stakeholders together and promote public discussion on shared activities to foster local ownership of climate resilience and environmental sustainability.

Our core function

Information dissemination & training

MEDA ensures environment and climate action is championed in its projects. MEDA also disseminates information on climate action, technology development and stakeholder engagement within the organization broadly, fostering a sense of awareness and commitment to integrating a climate-focus into all our work. The ECC team also provides environmental sustainability and climate change training to all project staff and partners, including annual refresher training.

Building tools & resources

Our Environmental Management System (EMS) includes screening and assessment tools designed to mitigate environmental and climate change risks associated with our work, while supporting entrepreneurs in climate change adaptation and improving local environment conditions. In addition, the EMS guides field offices in adhering to their own national environmental regulations as well as donor standards relating to environment and climate change.

What we do

Climate smart technologies

Climate smart agriculture

Renewable energy technologies

Renewable energy technologies

Improving waste management

Improving waste management

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 AuditorsMEDA 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.

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

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 finance or 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.

Learn Icon - Graduation Cap

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

Chris Brnjas headshot

Chris Brnjas

U.S. Inquiries

Vanessa Hofer headshot

Vanessa Hofer

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 

Please reference the MEDA Corporate Colour Palette, Clear Space around the MEDA logo(s) and MEDA Visual Identity 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



Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to alleviate poverty. We work with 400 partners in 62 countries to help 910,000 clients unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for their families, and enrich their communities. Donations to MEDA are multiplied in impact seven times on average. MEDA has offices in Waterloo and Ottawa, ON, Washington, DC, and Lancaster, PA, and internationally. Visit for more information.

MEDA Logo History

The original MEDA logo was developed in the early 1970s at the time of MEDA's incorporation. The symbol was initiated by Milo Shantz and designed by Glenn Fretz in 1974. 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.

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."

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:
Invalid Input
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

Do you have expertise in a technical area of business? MEDA recruits individuals for short-term business/technical expert volunteer roles with our projects around the world. These opportunities are for experienced individuals who would like to make an impact using thier business and/or technical skills in an international development context. 


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.



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.



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.



Terms used in Climate Change

Env Climate Change Slide1
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

Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDADr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO of MEDA

Women Empowering Women (WEW) is a women's network for global change. Join this dynamic group of women to network, learn about the importance of gender equality and support a great cause! 


Learn about issues facing women around the world.

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.


2020 Meeting Schedule


Waterloo: February 6, May 7, October 1 and Dec 3 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the MEDA Head Office, 595 Parkside Drive, Ste. 2, N2L 0C7 RSVP to: Katie West:



The 2020 Waterloo WEW group is proudly sponsored by Kindred Credit Union which will donate $100 (up to $20,000) for every attendee! Event appetizers are sponsored by the St. Jacobs Farmers Market


For more information on our Women Empowering Women Events, call Liz Miller at 717-560-6546 or email

Donate   *Tax receipted by MEDA.


WEW Postcard Header

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.



Group of People


We're ready for you.

Community is our firm foundation. Join a network of innovative, passionate and knowledgeable individuals to learn how business can be a force for good in your community and around the world.

Be a catalyst for global change in your own backyard.

How can I get involved?

Groups of dedicated MEDA supporters meet all across North America to discuss faith and business, poverty alleviation, inequality, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility and how business can be a noble calling.

These Hubs are ongoing committee-operated affinity groups whose goal is to build awareness of MEDA in their local community through events and activities. Through these Hubs, you have the opportunity to connect what you do locally with MEDA's global work to create business solutions to poverty.

Join us!

What will you do to create a world without poverty?

Group of Smiling Women

Invest with MEDA

Impact investing is simply that; investing with impact.

There is a way to support sustainable economic, social and environmental change and seek an ethical profit and MEDA can help you do that.

Here's why:

The international community has the goal of eradicating poverty by 2030. By transforming economies, these goals are achievable. You can respond to the challenge of financing sustainable development through investment and blended finance.

Investment is a solution to poverty. We've been doing it since 1953. 

Here's how:

The MEDA Risk Capital Fund (MRCF) provides early stage capital, an important source of funding for young companies. MRCF invests in promising companies in developing countries that have an excellent prospect of financial success and economic benefit to communities in poverty. An investment in MRCF is an investment in sustainable change.

Here's what we invest in:

SME Finance Icon

SME Finance

Agribusiness icon


Financial Services icon

Financial Services

Impact Investment Platforms Icon

Impact Investment Platforms

Information Technology icon

Information Technology

Microfinance icon


Our Expertise

Blended Finance

MEDA is experienced in structuring blended finance partnerships that allow for different types of capital to achieve commercial and impact objectives. An early leader in blended finance, MEDA partnered with the Government of Canada in 2013 to pilot the use of concessionary finance to raise private capital for development-related investments in private equity and trade finance. A key aspect of these partnerships is the provision of technical assistance to funds and SMEs to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Technical Assistance

MEDA develops bespoke technical assistance packages, delivering services directly to funds and SMEs in gender lens investing, environment social and governance (ESG) integration and impact measurement and management. Through partnering with more than 20 fund managers and 37 companies across 21 countries, MEDA has supported improved business performance and impact including the development of groundbreaking toolkits like the Gender Equality Mainstreaming Framework.

The GEM Framework

Our Purpose:

MEDA is committed to serving people experiencing poverty. The MEDA Risk Capital Fund (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.

Our Promise:

MEDA will continuously adapt the MRCF investment strategy in response to the changing needs and trends in the impact investing eco-system. MEDA will continue to catalyze new platforms and blended finance partnerships, improve the fund’s investment policies and procedures, scale the organization’s gender lens investing strategy and design more sophisticated impact reporting methodologies.

Connect with us

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


Dean Shoemaker
Sr. Development Officer, Eastern Canada

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

Environment and Climate Change















MEDA Convention 2019

MEDA Convention 2018

MEDA Convention 2017

MEDA Convention 2016

MEDA Convention 2016 - MEDA Next Talks

MEDA Convention 2015




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.

Executive Leadership Team

Dr. Dorothy Nyambi

Chief Executive Officer and President

Orvie Bowman

Chief Financial and Investment Officer (CFIO)

Simon Carter

Interim Sr. Lead of Global Programs

Leah Katerberg

Vice President Innovation & Impact

Marcia Scheffler

Vice President People & Culture

Michael White

Chief Marketing & Development Officer

Susie Cochran

Executive Assistant and Board Relations Manager

Regional Directors

Rachel Hess

Regional Director of MEDA’s Eastern, Southern and Central Africa (ESCA)

Dr. Pierre Kadet

Regional Director of the West Africa, Middle East and North Africa region

Katie Turner

Regional Director Latin American and Caribbean, Eastern Europe and Pacific region

Technical Directors

Jennifer Denomy

Technical Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Nikesh Ghimire

Technical Director, Financial Services

Jennifer King

Technical Director, Market Systems

Dennis Tessier

Technical Director, Environment & Climate Change

Jessica Villanueva

Technical Director, Investment

Resource Development

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.


Jenny Shantz

Chair and Executive Committee Member / Ontario, Canada

Gregory Gaeddert

Vice Chair, Finance Committee Member, and Executive Committee Member / Kansas, USA

Karin Krahn

Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, and Executive Committee Member / Alberta, Canada

Gary Leis

Secretary and Executive Committee Member / Ontario, Canada

Board of Directors

Abe Fehr

Audit Committee Chair / Ontario, Canada

Albert Friesen

Past Chair and Executive Committee member / Manitoba, Canada

Andreas Quiring

Bonn, Germany

Bethany Fosdyck

Illinois, USA

Crystal Weaver

Nominating Committee Chair and Executive Committee Member / Pennsylvania, USA

Dallas Steiner

Ohio, USA

Donovan Nickel

Colorado, USA

Elke Horsch

Schwandorf, Germany

Jeremy Showalter

Nominating Committee Member / Washington, USA

Jim Alvarez

Finance Committee Member / Indiana, USA

Jim Miller

Audit and Nominating Committee Member / Florida, USA

John Schroeder

Nominating Committee Member and Executive Committee Member / British Columbia, Canada

Joyce Bontrager Lehman

New Hampshire, USA

Marianne Unruh

Audit Committee Member / California, USA

Myrl Nofziger

Audit Committee Member / Indiana, USA

Rick Martin

Finance Committee Member / Ontario, Canada

Verda Beachey

Audit Committee Member / Florida, USA

Yvonne Sieber

Nominating Committee Member / Kansas, USA

Zach Bishop

Finance Committee Member / Colorado, USA

En français En français


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.

Here's how we do that:

  • Investment

    Impact Investment

    Without investment, businesses cannot expand their climate-smart initiatives, integrate women into value chains and build the capacity of local partners. MEDA provides assistance to enhance the impact of investments and help entrepreneurs build profitable businesses serving poorer customers and reducing investor risk.

    Learn More
  • Gender Equality & Social Inclusion

    Gender Equality & Social Inclusion

    Women, youth, ethnic minorities and other marginalized groups are often overlooked by service providers who do not view them as viable market segments. MEDA aims to reduce social and systemic barriers to their ability to earn a dignified livelihood by starting and running a business.

    Learn More
  • Market Systems

    Market Systems

    Disorganization and inefficiencies within supply chains and market systems leads to unsustainable solutions that exacerbate poverty. MEDA analyzes and understands target communities, sectors and market actors, associated barriers and opportunities, and the approaches that can sustainably shift behaviors and attitudes.

    Learn More
  • Inclusive Financial Services

    Inclusive Financial Services

    MEDA provides technical assistance to over 40 microfinance institutions and banks in 22 countries, encouraging the development of products. We specialize in technology for financial transactions, community-based savings and lending, and support services for micro to medium-sized enterprises.

    Learn More
  • Environment & Climate Change

    Environment & Climate Change

    MEDA incorporates a range of environmental assessments that ensures our work provides ecologically sustainable approaches to poverty alleviation while also partnering with businesses and entrepreneurs to promote the business case for good environmental management.

    Learn More
  • Monitoring MEDA

    Monitoring MEDA's Impact

    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 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.

    Learn More

Our Model

We work alongside our partners and clients, funded by both private and institutional donors. Together, we strive to alleviate poverty by creating sustainable livelihoods for women and men, measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge and the creation of more jobs.

We work in 76 countries around the world and support over 842,947 direct and indirect clients.

MEDA creates business solutions to poverty.

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.

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 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.

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.


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

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.

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 donation will be in US dollars.

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

Your donation will be in Canadian dollars.

Donate today!

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

Your donation will be in US dollars.

Donate today!

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

US Residents click here to donate

Your donation will be in Canadian dollars.

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.

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


GAC small en SAM logo MaRS logo MEDA Logo Green
Smiling Woman Entrepreneur

Gender Lens Investing Consultancy

GroFin Managers, Small and Growing Business (SGB) Fund, Africa

GroFin provides investment and business support to growing businesses in Africa and the Middle East. GroFin helps entrepreneurs grow their businesses through tailored finance and value-added business support.

Over a one-year period, MEDA advised GroFin on the development and implementation of a differentiated and responsive Gender Lens Investing (GLI) strategy.

Informed by in-depth market research in Ghana, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa, the GLI strategy focuses primarily on closing the persistent access-to-finance gap faced by women-owned businesses in the markets in which GroFin’s SGB Fund invests.

In addition, the GLI strategy seeks to increase economic opportunities for women throughout portfolio company operations including the workforce, supply chain and customer base.

The consultancy included setting GroFin’s strategic GLI direction, establishing a gender policy and creating a GLI toolkit, training and impact measurement framework to build capacity of the GroFin team to champion and apply the GLI strategy in practice.

WBE Summary Report Cover

Learn more about GroFin’s gender lens investments in their 2019 Annual Report

Download Report