Private Sector Development




01 - No Poverty, 05 - Gender Equality, 09 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Organization Type






TechnoServe helps people lift themselves out of poverty by harnessing the power of the private sector. A leading nonprofit organization operating in 26 countries, we work with hard-working women and men in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries. By linking people to information, capital, and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

Our Work

TechnoServe harnesses the power of the private sector to benefit the world’s poor. We help people in developing countries improve the value of what they produce and strengthen their role in larger markets—because when people have the skills and connections to improve their own incomes, the benefits last a lifetime. TechnoServe achieves this through strong local expertise; world-class market analysis; and commitment to rigorous impact measurement to enable enterprising people to lift themselves out of poverty. Invest in the hard-working people we serve.

1- We help farmers and promote sustainable agriculture.

Nearly two-thirds of the world's poor rely on agriculture for their incomes. That’s why agriculture is key to economic development: this sector is two to four times more effective at raising incomes in developing countries than other sectors.

Certain crops with high market value  –  like coffee, cocoa, and others – can bring especially large increases to farmers’ incomes. When farmers can improve the quality and yields of these high-value crops, the impact can be transformative. Surpluses produced in excess of household consumption can be sold commercially, increasing community food security, promoting value-added activities like processing, and supporting a variety of businesses along the supply chain. This extra value not only supports farmers and their households, but creates jobs, wealth, and economic growth along the supply chain until the products reach the end consumers, whether they live next door to the farmer or on the other side of the world.

TechnoServe helps farmers growing high-value (or cash) crops to earn greater incomes by improving the quality and quantity of their crops; accessing finance and supplies; and selling to better buyers, such as food and beverage companies, which pay higher prices and provide farmers with a reliable, long-term market.

In order to achieve this, TechnoServe works to strengthen market systems. We focus on markets that have:

  • A clear opportunity – an unmet demand for a product or service;

  • The potential for inclusive growth that benefits poor people in their roles as producers, entrepreneurs, employees or consumers;

  • The potential for scale – impacting significant numbers of families

This approach has enabled TechnoServe to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers and their families.

2- We help entrepreneurs and promote inclusive growth.

There are more than 300 million small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, which contribute up to 40% of national GDP. They are operated and often founded by women and men aiming to provide greater life opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. These businesses promote inclusive development, serving as the main providers of jobs for many low-income individuals; the main suppliers of basic goods and services in poor or isolated communities; and very often the best market alternative for farmers. Entrepreneurship also provides critical opportunities for women and youth to earn their own incomes.

Despite its great importance, the SME sector in the developing world faces enormous challenges to unleashing its full potential. Lack of adequate access to talent, markets, and financial services, as well as challenging operating environments, have prevented these businesses from growing, from achieving optimal productivity, and from contributing strongly to their local and national economies.

Entrepreneurs and their enterprises come in different shapes and sizes. TechnoServe has partnered with large corporations, multilateral institutions, and governments to provide life-changing support in a variety of settings. For instance, we help young entrepreneurs in rural Africa to start new businesses; we support established enterprises to accelerate their growth and impact in Latin America; we work with food processors in Africa to expand their business, sourcing more products from small-scale farmers; and we help small shop owners to improve their businesses and profits.

Our successful entrepreneurship portfolio is based on four key pillars:

  • Careful adaptation

  • Market-driven approach

  • Effective capacity development

  • Rigorous measurement and continuous learning

3- We leverage key drivers of development impact.

Poverty is a complex, but not impossible challenge. TechnoServe develops “whole market” solutions that address important cross-cutting issues, in order to create long-lasting change on a broad scale.


TechnoServe works with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses, and industries.


We will be the most effective catalyst and partner for transformative, on-the-ground, market-based solutions to poverty.

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