Kenya & Rwanda

Second Chance Success

March 2020 - 2022

Blended Finance Approaches to Women’s Economic Empowerment


When women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, producing a multiplier effect that spurs economic growth and contributes to global peace and stability. Yet, lack of access to finance is one of the major barriers facing women entrepreneurs around the world.

While the women’s access-to-finance gap is well documented, little research exists which examines viable approaches that improve access to capital for women entrepreneurs. Without proven approaches, investment funds will not apply a gender lens to their investments, which perpetuates this gap. The Second Chance Success project seeks to identify and test strategies that remove barriers to women entrepreneurs’ access to capital. By sharing the results, best practices, and lessons learned from the Second Chance Success pilot, the project can make the business case to finance women entrepreneurs and also why GLI approaches are effective. This, in turn, can build the confidence of investors. Ultimately, greater investor confidence will lead to increased capital flows to women-owned businesses and investments that use a gender lens. 

Project Updates

The trouble with low prices

Failing to invest in upkeep is a recipe for future problems. As in most areas of life, looking at our present-day actions in light of how they will affect the future is always wise.


Accountability and Expectations

Shared understandings key to accepted norms, pastor argues. “We bless others when we help them grow and become better versions of themselves. It is an act of love to give people space to figure out what went wrong and how they will do better next time.”


November/December 2022

#Field2Fork2022: Photo Contest winners inside | Kansas firm promotes sustainable grain | Everence employee reflects on 51-year career | The high cost of low prices | Accountability in the modern world


Turning a crisis into an opportunity- how Hadija provided decent work for herself and her community

Hadija always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur. This truth became clearer as she graduated from university. She saw how many young people like herself struggled to find work. So, starting her own business, or creating work opportunities for herself, seemed like the natural next step. In 2015, after Hadija graduated, she learned about onion farming and took a course on manufacturing industrial products in Kenya. After this transformative course, the seed of GBRI Solutions was planted, and Hadija founded her business.


Leaving no one behind on World Food Day 2022

This year’s growing season was particularly difficult for farmers around the world. With supply disruptions caused, in part, by sanctions against Belarus and Russia, synthetic fertilizer prices skyrocketed, doubling their prices at the beginning of the growing season in April and May 2022.


Why MEDA works with rural women

Rural women play a critical role in agriculture, making up more than 40% of the labor force in many lower to middle-income economies. Yet they are disproportionately affected by poverty, perpetuated by unequal access to productive resources, non-participation in decision-making processes at all levels of governance (traditional, government, and household), and other forms of discrimination.


Why harnessing local knowledge is best- a conversation among project staff from Kenya and the Philippines

To better explain MEDA’s transformational journey towards embracing a North-South equilibrium and developing partnerships that are based on delivering systems-level impacts in agri-food systems, Catherine Sobrevega (Country Director, Philippines) and Geoffrey Juma (Country Director, Kenya) sat down with Jessica Villanueva, Senior Director, Technical Areas of Practice to reflect in their own words how their work addresses current trends in international development and contributes to the goals espoused by MEDA’s Strategic Plan.


Connecting impact investment and agricultural development: MEDA bridges the gap

In 2020, MEDA launched a bold Strategic Plan, Towards an Equal World. The plan outlines our ambitious goal of creating or sustaining decent work for half a million people in emerging economies by 2030 by strengthening agri-food market systems, working in partnership with others to drive system-level impact, and most importantly, shifting decision-making from the Global North to the Global South.




This program was undertaken with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development.


Criterion Institute, Volta Capital and Business Partners International (BPI)