Economic Empowerment

More than 700 million people worldwide are living on less than two dollars a day. When you’re that far behind, it’s hard to get ahead. Economic empowerment helps people break into their local markets and out of poverty. Whether they’re farmers or entrepreneurs, approaches like microfinance and savings groups help parents do more for their children. In time, it can lift an entire community.

99,450 people participated in saving groups for emergency funds and small business loans.
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18,275 animals were distributed to families, helping them provide for their children.
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We helped train 18,535 adults and youth in job skills and business management.
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Our Approach
Breaking the poverty cycle is a complex process – but one thing seems consistent. A child’s parents have the greatest influence on her economic well-being. 

World Vision works to raise the economic well-being of individual households, helping to break the poverty cycle within that family. People whose businesses are blossoming hire others to help them, breaking the cycle of poverty for other families. In time, the entire community is lifted.

World Vision empowers people in four main ways:
  • Microfinance
  • Savings groups
  • Market/value chain development
  • Training small business owners

Using these approaches, we empower people to start their own businesses, learn savings habits and improve their farming. This in turn helps them provide for their families.
To start or expand a business, people usually need access to capital. Microfinance is the provision of financial services to people who would not normally have access to them, including:
 
  • Community Banks: Remote communities may not have ATMs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a bank. Using seed capital that is paid back over time, we train communities on how to form a bank to provide financial services to their members. 
  • Solidarity Groups: These consist of 3-5 people who each get a small loan. The group’s members cross-guarantee each other’s loans to keep each other accountable. This has meant that more than 98% of loans are paid back within the first year, an enviable record for any banking system.
  • Individual Loans: Once someone has proven their financial savvy by paying back several loans, and has the collateral to sustain themselves, she might be eligible for a larger individual loan.

By helping farmers and producers access markets, we help them find better places to sell their goods. All their hard work results in a better price and profit, and more benefits for their families. We help community members to:

 
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of how things get to market
  • Meet with potential buyers
  • Learn more about meeting industry standards
  • Plan for their futures, both practically and economically
  • Discover how to improve their production methods
  • Connect with partners

We help improve the methods, structures and networks involved in getting goods to market. We’re making it easier for producers and farmers to build their own businesses, form meaningful partnerships and secure their own futures.
To further support the community’s success, we train business owners in the skills they require to start new endeavours and improve existing enterprises. Through a business coach, local business owners can get the information, support and advice they need to meet their requirements – all for free – giving them a strong start on the path to success.
Savings allow families to prepare for the future and build up a fund in case of emergency. But saving can be difficult, especially when you’re living on very little already. Savings groups help make it easier for people to start the process of saving.

Community banks are:
  • made up of people who save together in a safe, convenient and flexible way
  • owned, managed, and operated by members using simple methods that help groups accumulate and convert small amounts of cash into savings
  • a way for members to access credit to help generate additional income or to deal with emergencies
 
With a fund that they can access when needed, members are assured of having something stored for future events, whether it’s paying for school fees, unexpected medical costs, business opportunities or other emergencies. For people who are living in poverty, having that security can make life much easier.
When we first partner with a community, we work to address their basic needs – like food, water, healthcare, and education. Then we can address more complex community needs, like skills training, community managed savings and loan groups, and microfinance to fuel the local economy.

We train those in need to grow their business, improve farming methods and work together to form cooperatives. This helps parents become better providers for their children. And those children grow up better nourished, better educated and better equipped to break the cycle of poverty.
Resources
Most producers who are poor are not linked to markets for a variety of reasons. World Vision works with communities to help remove those reasons, connecting farmers and entrepreneurs with eager buyers.
Savings Groups can help communities help themselves, build on their own capital and invest in their own future. Here’s how it works – and the proof that it does!

Ways to give to Economic Empowerment

Start a Business: $100+

Your gift will provide a loan, training and assistance so a family can launch a small business such as sewing, farming, dairy production, baking, weaving and more.

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Equipment to Start a Business: $167+

You'll help provide equipment to parents or young adults so they can launch their own small business in trades like sewing, carpentry, mechanics and more. 

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Where We Work


Together with your support, we are bringing about real change for children, families and communities in more than 50 countries.
From Canada to the world. With love.


children walking through brush