ImpactMatters conducted an impact audit of Village Enterprise, a nonprofit that aims to increase income for extremely poor residents of rural sub-Saharan Africa (starting with Kenya and Uganda). Village Enterprise delivers a yearlong, four-part program to the extreme poor: cash to start a business, training, mentoring and a savings group.
The impact audit, published in February 2018, was a re-issuance of an audit of Village Enterprise completed in 2016. We re-issued the audit in light of new evidence on the Village Enterprise microenterprise program: a high quality randomized controlled trial (R.C.T.) in Uganda, which found modest, statistically significant increases in consumption, assets and income for participants in the treatment group relative to the control group. By our estimates, the microenterprise program raised the total of consumption and assets by $1.60 per household, over 10 years, for every $1 that Village Enterprise spent to deliver the program. Based on two long-term R.C.T.s of similar programs in India and Bangladesh, we assume the impact of Village Enterprise is sustained for a total of seven years, declining to zero by year 10.
In addition to impact and cost, the audit assessed the quality of Village Enterprise’s systems for monitoring program delivery and learning from data. Village Enterprise has excellent systems for both. Village Enterprise’s careful monitoring of each component of its intervention (cash grant, training, mentorship, savings groups) suggests it delivers its program consistently and at high quality. We also commend Village Enterprise for putting its flagship microenterprise program under the microscope of an R.C.T. and contributing to the evidence base for poverty alleviation programs.
Read the findings and executive summary (PDF, 11 pages)
Read the full report (PDF, 79 pages)
Download the supporting appendix (Excel spreadsheet)