iDE develops innovative and compassionate solutions for the most pressing needs in the developing world. They leverage the power of entrepreneurship to lift people out of poverty, and create income and livelihood opportunities for the rural poor. By designing business models that embrace the poor as business owners, sales agents, producers, and employees, iDE is helping create a self-sustaining climate of opportunity in 11 countries and counting.
In order to end poverty, iDE believes we must figure out how to empower the millions of people living on $2 or less a day to profit from the marketplace. Their approach is to employ a Human-Centered Design process to understand people’s needs and desires, while also addressing the social, health, and financial barriers that people in poverty face. They create aspirational products, like quality toilets and clean water filters, that the poor can not only afford, but want to buy. They also facilitate trainings and develop tools, like drip irrigation, that allow farmers to increase their livelihoods. Their areas of focus include gender equity, climate resilience, access to nutrition, food security, agriculture, outsmarting diarrheal disease, and financial inclusion.
Their approach is to Solve Poverty with Profit. For example, iDE knows that farmers are entrepreneurs by nature. But a struggling farmer can’t afford to take risks like other entrepreneurs do, so his farming is limited to growing the food he needs for his own family’s survival. iDE asks what if he could grow enough to feed his family, plus enough to sell at the market? By actually making a profit from his farm, he gains access to better food, opportunities for education, the freedom to invest in his own business, and the ability to buy basic goods that can transform the health and lives of his family. And what if other businesses earned a profit by helping him be a better farmer?
Since it’s founding in 1982 iDE has helped 23 million people navigate their way out of poverty, and has an ambitious plan to double that number. To find out more and learn how you can help them reach 20 million new individuals by 2020 visit www.ideglobal.org.