MEDA Annual Report

MEDA Annual Report - 2011

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


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2010

MEDA Annual Report - 2010

Executive View

In the past year we witnessed a halting and fragile recovery from the global recession, plagued by persistently high levels of unemployment, weak investment opportunities and mounting budget deficits that will haunt us for years to come. Earthquakes, drought, flooding and wildfires captured headlines from Haiti, China, Pakistan, Russia and many other countries, creating untold hardship for millions of people caught in the wake. Escalating warfare and insecurity in Afghanistan, Pakistan and a host of other
countries threatened the well-being and livelihoods of millions of poor families and diminished prospects for peaceful solutions. And, the threat of global pandemics again reared its head this year, reminding us that disease is not confined by political boundaries.

In the midst of so much depressing news, wherein does our hope lie? At MEDA we have the daily privilege of witnessing the incredible resilience of the human spirit – watching as resource‑poor families around the world respond with creativity, entrepreneurship and unflagging efforts to build their lives and create hope for their families in the midst of destruction and insecurity. We see millions of families who, with a hand from MEDA, are able to unleash their own entrepreneurship to build a better future. We believe that unleashing entrepreneurship is our God‑given mandate, and a proven strategy for creating sustainable livelihoods. Since 1953, MEDA has created business solutions to poverty, building on the entrepreneurship of our 101 partners and 9.4 million clients around the world. Today, our work is needed more than ever. Do we have the creative, scalable and replicable business solutions needed to help increasing numbers of the world's poor find roads out of poverty? Our funding partners clearly believe that we do. Over the past three years, with the help of funding contracts negotiated with
governments and foundations, our total development budgets have more than doubled, and our client reach has more than quadrupled.

We were delighted that, despite ongoing economic uncertainty, 2010 was a year of continued growth for MEDA. Contributions from our generous private supporters increased 36% to $3.3 million, multiplied by government contracts and other funding by a factor of 10 times, for total revenue of $32.8 million, up 31% from last year.

Our newly opened European office accounted for nearly 7% of contributions. In June the MEDA board of directors was privileged to be hosted in Germany by Horsch Machinery and director Michael Horsch – following our triennial international board meetings, held this year in Ukraine where the board witnessed entrepreneurship alive and well in this former Soviet state.

The board also approved MEDA's next three‑year strategy (outlined in the center‑spread of this report) and a major organizational restructuring that will position MEDA for global leadership in each of its strategic directions. As part of the reorganization, MEDA's impact investment mandate is now managed by its wholly‑owned subsidiary, Sarona Asset Management Inc. Assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 30% to $14.8 million, private direct investment in MEDA programs increased 58% to $30 million, and assets under management increased 25% to $219 million.

Our net surplus of $1.1 million resulted from a $1.29 million appreciation in the value of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund investments and a $197,000 operating deficit. Most of these funds will be reinvested again and again in businesses that serve the poor.

And finally, at a time when many of our 313 staff members face insecurity and other risks on a daily basis, we have worked intentionally with our security consultant to improve security training and other protective measures. However, we covet your prayers for their safety.

We are immensely grateful to our supporters and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help MEDA unleash entrepreneurship. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Allon Lefever,
Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2009

MEDA Annual Report - 2009

Executive View

In a year when depressing economic news was more than mere statistics, too often translating into job losses, reductions in charitable giving and altered dreams of retirement, many of us tightened our belts and watched for signs of recovery. However, as the global recession deepened, we began to realize that we were seeing a new global reality: new economic and environmental frontiers that require new solutions.

Although some developing countries still forecast growth rates above those of the higher income countries, vanishing capital inflows, weak export earnings from commodities and reduced remittances from export workers are increasingly likely to reverse a decade of growth that has lifted millions out of poverty in poor countries. Martin Ravallion of the World Bank predicted that 65 million people will slip back below the $2 a day poverty line this year, and 53 million will fall below the $1.25 a day absolute poverty line (The Economist, Mar. 12, 2009). The consequences may be that as many as 400,000 more children will die annually between now and 2015.

At MEDA we believe that investing in the poor is our God-given mandate, and a proven strategy for creating sustainable livelihoods. Since 1953, MEDA has created business solutions to poverty. Today, our work is needed more than ever. Do we have the creative solutions needed for these challenging new frontiers? Our funding partners clearly believe that we do. This year we negotiated contracts totaling nearly $75 million, which will multiply many times over the annual contributions we receive from our generous contributors. During the next few years, these funds will translate into hundreds of thousands of women-owned enterprises supporting families in Afghanistan and Pakistan, improved health for millions of families protected from the scourge of malaria in Tanzania, tens of thousands of youth in Morocco and Egypt with new hope for employment and economic security, and a host of other programs that will create new solutions to poverty.

We also believe that our mandate extends to sharing our faith-based values. Will we one day see the greed and excess that characterized those who created the global crisis replaced by integrity and genuine concern for those in need around the world? Will entrepreneurs, large and small, one day see their role as creating wealth and sustainable livelihoods for all?

This year we created new solutions to poverty for 2.8 million families in 44 countries, in partnership with 120 locally owned and managed organizations. Families from Afghanistan to Zambia benefited from increased incomes, new skills, better health and new hope.

We were delighted that, despite the global economic crisis, 2009 was a year of continued growth for MEDA. Although contributions from our 2,900 members and 2,600 supporters were down 15% to $2.5 million, we were able to multiply those contributions with government contracts and other funding by a factor of nine to one, for total revenue of $25.1 million, up 36% from last year. Our newly opened European office accounted for nearly 6% of contributions.

Equally important, assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 6% to $11.4 million, members' direct investment in MEDA programs increased 19% to $19 million, and assets under management increased 33% to $175 million.

Our net surplus of $808,000 resulted from a $385,000 operating surplus and a $423,000 appreciation in the value of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund investments. Most of these funds will be reinvested again and again in businesses that serve the poor.

We are immensely grateful to our members and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help MEDA explore New Frontiers: New Solutions. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Mel Stjernholm, Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2008

MEDA Annual Report - 2008

Executive View

In a topsy‑turvy world of investments gone bad, disappointing returns, missed quarterly projections, and assets not worth the paper they are written on, how can we speak of Dividends of Hope? It is easy to become frustrated when hard work and careful saving does not yield the kind of future we envisioned. But most of us remain confident that in the long run those investments will recover.

For millions of poor families around the world, however, there are no retirement funds, stock portfolios, or even bank accounts. There is only the daily grind of finding enough food, water and fuel to provide the basics. Earnings from small businesses and farms are often inadequate to afford education for their children, decent housing to protect from the elements, or health care for the sick and elderly. Where then is their hope?

At MEDA we believe that investing in the poor is our God‑given mandate and a proven strategy for creating sustainable livelihoods. "God puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned‑out lives with fresh hope, restoring dignity and respect to their lives – a place in the sun!" (1 Samuel 2: 8 MSG). We believe people in business are called to serve God with their unique gifts. When we take a risk with the poor and apply business principles to create sustainable livelihoods, hope is clearly the dividend – hope for economic security, hope for a better future, hope for peace and prosperity.

This year MEDA's work extended dividends of hope to more than 2.6 million families in 44 countries, in partnership with 139 locally owned and managed organizations. Families from Afghanistan to Zambia benefited from increased incomes, new skills and better health – new hope!

God also calls us to invest in the things that are important. "Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns" (Ecclesiastes 11:1 MSG). We were delighted that, despite turbulent markets, 2008 was a year of continued growth for MEDA. Contributions from our 2,900 members and 2,000 supporters reached a new record of $2.9 million, up 12% from last year. We were able to leverage those contributions with government contracts and other funding by a factor of more than five to one, for total revenue of $18.5 million, up 15% from last year.

Equally important, assets in the Sarona Risk Capital Fund increased 34% to $10.7 million, members' direct investment in MEDA programs increased 20% to $15 million, and assets under management increased 36% to $132 million. Our net surplus of $1.8 million, resulting largely from appreciation in the value of our Sarona Risk Capital Fund investments and generous contributions, gives us hope that the poor are indeed investible. Most of these funds will be reinvested again and again in businesses that serve the poor.

This year we also began what we hope will become a more global outreach to supporters, investors and government donors. Titus Horsch was hired as our MEDA representative for Europe, based in Germany and charged with expanding our visibility there and throughout Europe.

We are immensely grateful to our members and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help MEDA create Dividends of Hope. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Mel Stjernholm, Chair


 

MEDA Annual Report - 2007

MEDA Annual Report - 2007

Executive View

Leaders know all about trust. Handling tough choices in our businesses, communities, churches and development programs demands trust – in the strength of our relationships, in the skills and experience we bring, in our values, and above all, in God’s abiding love and guiding hand.

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul” (Psalm 143:8 NIV).

As leaders, we can build Trust in a World of Change. Amid daily chaos, fear and misunderstanding, we are called to help restore right relationships – with God, with neighbors, and with all of creation. At MEDA we believe people in business can serve God with their unique gifts. When we take a risk with the poor and apply business principles to create sustainable livelihoods, hope is clearly the result – hope for economic security, hope for a better future, hope for peace and prosperity.

In business, as in all of life, relationships are the key. Despite flagrant betrayals by some, trust is really at the heart of all business transactions. Relationships depend on trust, so to restore relationships we need to build trust. And that takes time. It comes not so much from what we say but from how we live daily in business, in our professions, in our families. And it begins with hospitality. “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt” (Exodus 23:9 NKJV).

This year MEDA’s work extended trust and hospitality to 2.2 million families in 39 countries, in partnership with 127 locally owned and managed organizations. Families in places as remote as Afghanistan and Tajikistan, and as close to home as New Orleans and Appalachia, have all benefited from increased incomes, new skills and better health. We have developed friendships and better understanding – relationships based on trust that are surely the building blocks to peace.

We are delighted that 2007 has been a year of continued growth for MEDA, with a positive bottom line. Revenue increased by 17 percent to $16.1 million, while contributions from our 2,500 members and 1,600 donors grew 46 percent to $2.6 million – providing the valuable matching funds that help us leverage contracts from governments and large donors. Our net surplus of $1 million, resulting primarily from generous contributions to our Sarona Risk Capital Fund and some appreciation in the value of our investments, will be reinvested in businesses that serve the poor.

We are immensely grateful to our members and our board who generously share their time, skills and resources to help MEDA build Trust in a World of Change. We invite you to join in this work.

Allan Sauder, President
Mel Stjernholm, Chair