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Kim Pityn for AGM story sidebar

MEDA’s work in northern Nigeria is “the right project, in the right place at the right time,” strengthening businesses, creating jobs and fostering women’s equality, MEDA staffer Kim Pityn says.

MEDA’s chief operating officer made the comments about a recent visit to Nigeria during the organization’s annual general meeting in Indianapolis.
“I was overwhelmed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the clients. It was fabulous.”

MEDA posts record results for second consecutive year

Sauder and Nyambi for pg. 8 January 2019 The MarketplaceAllan Sauder and Dorothy NyambiIndianapolis — As Allan Sauder’s leadership of Mennonite Economic Development Associates ended in 2018, the organization’s success in creating business solutions to poverty reached an all time high.

MEDA set new records, both in donations received and clients served, for the second consecutive year, Sauder noted in his final address to the organization’s annual convention in November. In the year ended June 30, MEDA received $8.2 million in private donations from supporters in North America and Europe, up 31 per cent from a year earlier.

Dorothy at her home in AncasterDorothy at her home in AncasterAs printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - November-December

MEDA’s new president is first doctor, woman to hold the position

As a child growing up in Cameroon, Dorothy Nyambi wanted to pursue a career in medicine.

Initially, Dr. Nyambi wanted to be a pharmacist, as she believed pharmacists cured people. “I later found out the pharmacist fills out the prescription. They don’t really diagnose the disease.”

That insight altered the career path of the woman who will become MEDA’s president and chief executive officer in late November. Nyambi, a dual citizen of Canada and Cameroon, will succeed Allan Sauder, who is retiring from a post he has held for 16 years.

Shannon sermon Sunday morning at convention 2As printed in The Marketplace - 2019 - January/February

People under-estimate their ability to be a healing presence in the world, Shannon Dycus says.

“We know — what MEDA embodies — is that there are many significant ways to make impact upon the lives of burdened people,” she said.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Indy photoIntersections, Roads to Enduring Livelihoods is the theme of MEDA’s annual Business as a Calling convention, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the JW Marriott Hotel, in Indianapolis, Ind.
Greg Brenneman, a corporate turnaround expert who is executive chairman of private equity firm CCMP Capital and author of the book Right Away & All at Once (see excerpt, pp. 8-9), will provide the opening plenary address on Thursday evening.

Ukraine farmers use Excel-based calculator to record costs, sales and the bottom line

Alexandra Harmash, MEDA Ukraine’s gender and cross-cutting services manager, developed a business calculator to help farmers keep better records.Alexandra Harmash, MEDA Ukraine’s gender and cross-cutting services manager, developed a business calculator to help farmers keep better records.As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

A few years ago, farmers in the Ukraine rarely tracked their financials in the same manner as most businesses.

That meant they often lacked the figures or evidence to show whether certain crops, or their business, was successful or not.

Even those people who used paper-based records, simple Excel sheets or accounting software lacked the guidance, business logic and direction to properly work with data in a way that would provide useful information.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

more studying Libya 2Online training extends MEDA’s reachIn international development work, a variety of factors can combine to limit the reach and effectiveness of training programs.

Even when clients are clamoring for the services being offered, issues around culture, language and traditional gender roles can slow down progress.

Add armed conflict or political instability to the mix and progress requires patience, perseverance, innovation and ingenuity.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Tanzanian firm processes and distributes natural products

CS pic Halisi factory signs resized to send to RaySigns at Halisi’s processing plantSara Kessy, pictured below and lower left, is the founder of Halisi Products. Halisi is a MEDA lead firm that works with 1,000 suppliers, mainly women farmers, in Tanzania’s northern Arusha corridor. Halisi, a Swahili word that means natural, processes soya meal, porridge, peanut butter and two types of honey — regular and stingless bee. They also sell spices grown in Tanzania.

schlegel family 2012The Schlegel family, clockwise from top left: Jamie, Barb, Brad, Rob and RonAs printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

By Mike Strathdee

Ron Schlegel’s interest in seniors developed at an early age.

When he was 10 years old, his father, Wilfred, purchased the Egerton private hospital, a nursing home in London, ON. Ron and four of his siblings, along with their parents, moved into an attached apartment.

He carried meal trays and ran errands for residents before school in the morning, again at noon and for the evening meals during much of the next two years. “Once I got the trays finished, I could go play sports.”

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Greg BrennemanGreg BrennemanGreg Brenneman, one of the world’s leading business turnaround executives, is chairman, president, and CEO of the private equity firm CCMP. Brenneman is one of the keynote speakers at MEDA’s upcoming convention: Intersections – Business as a Calling 2018, to be held Nov. 8-11 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The excerpt below is from his book: Right Away & All at Once: Five Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life.

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

Allan Sauder drives MEDA staffer Mike Miller and supporter Barry Stauffer in rural Nebraska.Allan Sauder drives MEDA staffer Mike Miller and supporter Barry Stauffer in rural Nebraska.

Outgoing MEDA president pleased by continued success of early clients

When Allan Sauder looks back on 31 years at MEDA, the last 16 as president, he often thinks back to his early international work.

“There’s no substitute for living in a country to experience both the highs and the lows,” he says. “To experience the depth of the culture, the language, and after a couple of years, realizing that there are limitations to what you can understand.”

As printed in The Marketplace - 2018 - September/October

NickRamsingOld Testament book a good guide for business decisions

By Nick Ramsing

Leviticus is a great business book. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that systemic poverty in the US wouldn’t exist if we used Leviticus as a business model.

It’s helpful to reflect on our perspectives of Leviticus: its context, central purpose and potential to help us today. Then, I can better explain my perspective as a business and market analyst.

Nehemiah set an example worth following, pastor says

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace - January/February 2018David Esau IMG 3707David Esau

People looking for a mentor in their daily work would do well to emulate the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah, pastor David Esau says.

“I highly recommend Nehemiah to you.”

Esau, who serves as lead pastor at Eagle Ridge Bible Fellowship in Coquitlam, B.C., made the suggestion in a Sunday morning plenary message at MEDA’s 2017 convention in Vancouver.

Pre-recorded messages are an effective way of getting info to rural Ghanaian farmers

As printed in The Marketplace – July/August 2018

talking book deviceTalking books can be used by MEDA clients regardless of their level of literacy.

Teaching technical information to people who are mostly not literate can pose serious challenges.

But if use of books isn’t helpful, talking books can get the message across.

MEDA’s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project has made wide use of talking books through a partnership with Literacy Bridge, a Ghanaian non-governmental agency.

Business people, techies, pastors need to discuss digital addiction and new ideas, panel says

By Mike Strathdee

As printed in The Marketplace – July/August 2018

WATERLOO, ON — Pastors and people working in the technology sector need to learn how to talk to each other so they can collaborate to strengthen the church, James Kelly says.

Kelly made the comment at The Fusing of Minds: How Tech, Church and Business Can Create Together seminar. It was sponsored by Faith Tech, a Waterloo-based organization.

Faith Tech, founded by Kelly in 2016, provides a place for Christians working in the technology sector to share their stories and think about ways to apply their talents to pressing social challenges.JK for Faithtech storyJames Kelly

Entrepreneur hopes to bring reliable, inexpensive power to southern Africa

By Mike StrathdeeX best for Africa storySiya Xusa wants to power Africa.

As printed in The Marketplace – July/August 2018

When he was five years old, Siyabulela Xuza saw his first airplane.

That strange sight led him to read about planets. The young boy decided he wanted to visit Jupiter and started trying to mix rocket fuel in his mother’s kitchen.

A few decades later he heads up a company that he says may soon bring cheap, reliable power to a billion Africans.