MEDA Blog - Stories from the Field

10 things you might not know about MEDA

1. We started doing economic development before it was cool.
Economic empowerment isn’t just a phrase that we pull out at parties. MEDA has been creating business solutions to poverty through impact investing, microfinance, agricultural and entrepreneurship training since the 1950s, and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.

2. We work with people of all faiths.
MEDA operates in a variety of cultural settings with people from all over the world. It is our privilege to invest in the lives of people from many backgrounds.

3. We are a big and diverse family.
Our staff ranges from young professionals to people who have been a part of MEDA for over 30 years. Additionally, our team includes international staff from five continents!

4. Our story has many chapters, written by the unique voices of community leaders.
MEDA facilitates 15 chapters in the U.S. and Canada working to support our international mission. Chapters raise awareness in their local communities about MEDA’s work by hosting events and helping local businesses build networks in their communities.

5. We’re published!

MEDA has two primary publications - The Marketplace magazine (bi-monthly) and our monthly e-newsletter, MEDAzine. Stories about our work have appeared in popular business publications like FastCompany, and several MEDA employees have also been published in industry publications! If you haven’t subscribed yet, be sure to visit http://www.meda.org/about-meda to register for the MEDAzine.


6. Women are key characters in our story.

We believe women’s economic empowerment gives women the tools they need to grow as active leaders their families and communities through increased access to market opportunities and education.

7. MEDA and MCC are two different organizations, with similar missions.
MEDA is not formally affiliated with MCC, but we share deep Mennonite roots and values. One of our founders, Orie O. Miller, was instrumental in creating MCC as well as jump-starting MEDA.

8. Sustainable is more than just a catchphrase at MEDA.
Our staff lives out this principal by investing in the lives of entrepreneurs to restore dignity to individuals and families. We employ top practices in sustainable economic development through training, connections to markets and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit.

9. We are night owls.
We hosted our first World Night Market (an all-night outdoor fair celebrating our international work) this year! This past June, MEDA celebrated the world with over 2,000 event attendees as we danced with a Congolese worship band, ate international food and shared information about MEDA projects.

10. If agriculture were a sport, MEDA would be MVP.
Due to the fact that most of the world relies on agriculture as a means of earning a livelihood, MEDA prioritizes giving farmers access to the tools and education they need to grow healthy crops that can be sold in high-value markets.

BONUS: We have siblings!
Our sister organization, Sarona Asset Management, helps facilitate our work by investing in frontier and emerging markets. With Sarona by our side, we combine private sector and government funding to create a unique approach to development that’s capturing the attention of the United Nations.
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