MEDA Annual Reports

MEDA Annual Report - 2015

Executive view

Why leveraging for impact?
The business answer is that leveraging is simply good stewardship of resources.

We are leveraging by engaging funding and implementation partners in our work around the world. Leveraging is not simply for the sake of growth, but to achieve the greatest impact for the maximum number of families. Through leveraging, we are able to help more families realize their God-given potential.

Fiscal year 2015 was a challenging year for MEDA in comparison to the past decade, when we enjoyed strong growth and positive bottom lines on our financials. A number of factors combined to create a perfect storm:

  • A drop in major gifts;
  • The end of several major contracts and slow start-up of new projects; and,
  • Global currency declines that contributed to a loss in our investments;

Fortunately, we have the unwavering strong support of a Board of Directors with experienced business people who have weathered similar storms in their own enterprises. They are a beacon of support, giving generously of their time and wisdom. And we are so grateful that we have subsequently signed a significant number of new projects that will ensure our future growth.

This year we helped 36.5 million families in 52 countries realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 233 partners, we reached:

  • 36 million clients of microfinance institutions and small and medium enterprises where MEDA has invested through a Sarona fund;
  • and nearly 66,000 farmers and entrepreneurs who received training, financial services and/or access to markets.

And that’s in addition to the clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.

Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $4.4 million in private contributions with government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of $18.3 million.

We invested Sarona Risk Capital Fund assets of $18.5 million ($8.4 million equity) in funds and companies, for total assets under management of $550 million – up 18% from last year.

We are disappointed in this year’s overall loss of $1.9 million, arising from an operating loss of $1.1 million and a loss of $867,000 in our Sarona Risk Capital Fund equity. The Sarona Risk Capital loss is primarily due to global currency declines and a few investments that did not perform as expected.

We’re thankful for our supporters, our board, and our wonderful staff who work so hard and share so generously to keep MEDA at the leading edge of leveraging for impact. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Albert Friesen, Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2014

Executive View

Throughout this report you’ll learn how MEDA’s frontier investing and programs are helping poor families unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and skills to build sustainable livelihoods – creating business solutions to poverty.

If you visited these people, you’d hear stories of how their increased income has impacted their families, their communities, and their dreams for the future – stories of better health and nutrition … of children now able to attend university … of small businesses able to employ many more in the community … and of their ability to care for the needy in their midst. It’s truly a gift to be able to share God’s love in this way!

On Wall Street and Bay Street, frontier investing has been heralded as a new answer to poverty.

But the idea that investing capital in small and medium companies in frontier markets can be both financially rewarding for investors and good economic development for their customers, staff and communities is not new. MEDA has been doing this for 61 years.

However, creating ways to do this on a scale attractive to investors large and small – that is the new frontier – the space where MEDA and our Sarona funds are truly at the leading edge.

This year we helped 46.4 million families in 62 countries realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 248 partners, we reached:

  • 44 million clients of microfinance institutions and small and medium enterprises where MEDA has invested through a Sarona fund;
  • 2 million families who received mosquito nets in Tanzania;
  • and nearly half a million farmers and entrepreneurs who received training, financial services and/or access to markets.

And that’s in addition to the clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.

Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $6 million in private contributions with government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of nearly $42 million.

We invested Sarona Risk Capital Fund assets of $20 million ($9.3 million equity) in funds and companies, for total assets under management of $410 million – up 21% from last year largely due to substantial growth in MicroVest and the Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 2 LP.

We were grateful to realize a net surplus of $930,000 from an operating surplus of $980,000 and a slight loss in our Sarona Risk Capital Fund equity due to the write-down of assets in Ukraine following the political challenges there.

We’re thankful for our supporters, our board, and our wonderful staff who work so hard and share so generously to keep MEDA at the leading edge. We invite you to join in this work.

Debbie Sauder David, Chair
Allan Sauder, President



 

MEDA Annual Report - 2013

Executive View

For 60 years, MEDA has been cultivating solutions – business solutions to poverty – and it has been our privilege to witness a harvest of hope.

Every time we visit women, men and youth who, with the help of a MEDA program, have unleashed their own entrepreneurship and skills to create sustainable livelihoods, we hear the same stories. With shining eyes, our clients tell us of the immediate and dramatic impact their increased income has had for their families and communities, and their dreams for the future. We hear stories of better health and nutrition, of children who are now able to attend university, of small businesses that are able to employ many others from the community, and of their ability to now care for the needy in their own midst. It is truly a gift to be able to share God’s love in this way.

In Nicaragua and Peru, through an innovative program supported by the Canadian government, MEDA is providing 20 entrepreneurial small companies with matching grants to help farmers gain access to new markets and/or technologies that improve their productivity. These companies offer export markets for dried fruits, chili peppers and organic coffee, and provide improved cultivars of plantains, drip irrigation systems, biodigesters and a host of other services needed by farmers. And it is clear that these entrepreneurs, selected on the strength of their business plans, are creating businesses that truly bring a harvest of hope to small farmers.

This year we were able to help more than 42 million families realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 223 partners in 49 countries we reached some 38 million clients served by microfinance institutions and small and medium enterprises where MEDA has an investment through one of the Sarona funds; 1.7 million families who received mosquito nets in Tanzania; and 3.1 million farmers and entrepreneurs who received training, financial services and/or access to markets provided by MEDA and our partners. These numbers do not count clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.

Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $6 million in private contributions – up 20% from last year – with government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of nearly $41 million.

Assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 10% to $20 million, while total assets under management grew dramatically to $340 million, due in large part to substantial growth in MicroVest and the $85 million first close of the Sarona Frontier Markets Fund 2 LP.

We were grateful to see a net surplus of $2.8 million, resulting from an operating surplus of $802,000 and a $2.0 million increase in the equity of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund. Most of these funds will be reinvested again and again in businesses that serve the poor.

We are immensely grateful to our supporters, our board, and our wonderful staff who generously share their time to cultivate solutions to poverty. We invite you to join in this work, and to experience the harvest of hope.

Allan Sauder, President
Debbie Sauder David,
Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2012

Executive View

At MEDA, we believe that when we take a shared risk with the poor we will see cascading returns of many kinds. Our commitment to creating business solutions to poverty for the poorest of the economically active most often results in immediate and dramatic impact for those families and their communities. While the poor are not immune to global economic pressures, unleashing their own entrepreneurship and skills is the best way to create sustainable livelihoods, which in turn gives families the vision and options to make a better life for themselves, fosters more stable communities, and engenders a new hope that is spiritual in essence.

In Afghanistan, one of our clients is a woman named Shareefa who received a $125 loan from our local partner there. She was able to invest this in her kitchen garden where she applied improved production methods, which she learned from another MEDA project, to increase her yields. "With the help of this loan," she says, "I became a good leader and gained respect from the villagers – both men and women." Creating a leader for $125, funds that will be used over and over again in the program, is a risk with truly cascading returns!

Reflecting our faith values, our work with Shareefa and millions of other families around the world not only demonstrates practical and creative business solutions but also builds long‑term relationships that promote trust and peace and opens doors for God to create hope.

This year we were able to help more than 18 million families realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 227 partners in 56 countries we reached over 14 million clients served by microfinance institutions and small and medium enterprises where MEDA has an investment through one of the Sarona funds; 1.1 million families who received mosquito nets in Tanzania; and 2.9 million farmers and entrepreneurs who received training, financial services and/or access to markets provided by MEDA and our partners. These numbers do not count clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.

Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $5 million in private contributions – up 65% from last year – with government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of nearly $33 million.

Assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 16% to $20 million. While total assets under management increased slightly to $180 million, several new investment opportunities point toward considerable growth in the future.

We were grateful to see a net surplus of $2.0 million, resulting from an operating surplus of $530,000 and a $1.5 million increase in the equity of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund. Most of these funds will be reinvested again and again in businesses that serve the poor.

We are immensely grateful to our supporters, our board, and our wonderful staff who generously share their time, skills and resources, and take risks that create cascading returns. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Debbie Sauder David,
Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2011

Executive View

At the 2011 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland income inequality and corruption were singled out as the two most serious challenges facing the world. And at an OECD policy forum, Richard Freeman, professor of economics at Harvard University, said "the triumph of globalization and market capitalism has improved living standards for billions while concentrating billions among the few. It has lowered inequality worldwide but raised inequality within most countries."1

Nearly 60 years after MEDA first invested to create new economic hope for desperately poor farmers in Paraguay, our mission is even more relevant. Today, as then, we remain committed to creating business solutions to poverty for the poorest of the economically active. While economic growth has raised living standards for many millions in low income countries, there is an ongoing and growing need for the poorest to unleash their entrepreneurship and create sustainable livelihoods for their families.

Our Enduring Values continue to create Lasting Impact. Reflecting our faith values, we endeavor to be honest in all that we do; to build relationships that promote trust and peace; and to demonstrate practical and creative business solutions, where we share with the poor in the risk that these entail for them. We believe partnering and investing with local business structures is the most efficient way to help the poor gain access to the capital, markets and training they need. We leave behind profitable businesses or institutions that continue MEDA's work long‑term. And, we believe collaboration with others in this work is vital to ensuring good stewardship of God's resources.

We believe we have succeeded when our work is sustainable, measureable, scalable and replicable. How have we done?

This year we were able to help a record 20.2 million families realize healthier, more economically sustainable lives. Working through 150 partners in 60 countries we reached:

  • 12.2 million rural homes in Tanzania with mosquito nets; every 1,000 nets in use saves 5.5 lives, which equals over 67,000 lives saved;
  • 6.5 million households through microfinance institutions and small companies where MEDA has invested Sarona funds;
  • 1.5 million farmers and entrepreneurs who are earning better incomes (often double or triple) through training, financial services and access to markets.

These numbers do not count clients of organizations we worked with in the past who continue to serve thousands of entrepreneurs long after MEDA is no longer directly involved.

Your contributions made this possible! We multiplied your $3 million in private contributions through government and foundation funding to achieve a total budget of nearly $47 million, up 42% from last year.

Assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 6% to $16 million, private direct investment in MEDA programs increased 33% to $41 million, and assets under management rose 9% to $178 million.

We were grateful to see a net surplus of $928,000, resulting from an operating surplus of $1.1 million and a net loss of $153,000 in the value of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund.

We are particularly pleased when clients and partners tell us that their financial and health improvements were only a part of the story. In Haiti, we heard dozens of women talk about how they had been helped by MEDA's partner, Fonkoze, and how they felt truly cared for and respected. Fonkoze said this was also what they felt from MEDA staff and that is why they appreciate so much our long‑term relationship.

We are immensely grateful to our supporters and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help build enduring values, lasting impact and open doors for God to create hope. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Allon Lefever,
Chair

1 As reported by the Conference Board of Canada at http://www.conferenceboard.ca/hcp/hot-topics/worldinequality.aspx