The people & purpose powering iDE
iDE is a global team of 1,200 changemakers coming from diverse backgrounds within international development and the private sector. What we all have in common is the belief that one entrepreneur can change their community and millions can change the world.
Our work stands out in the international development arena. We are driven to end poverty but we don’t do simple handouts of supplies or cash. Instead, we believe that everyone has the ability to increase their livelihoods and build long-term resilience by their own accord. They may just need training or connections to suppliers and customers. That’s where we come in and what we mean when we say we are “powering entrepreneurs to end poverty.”
Our daily actions are guided by a few simple beliefs and ideas:
People who are poor have the right to a secure livelihood. ¶ Markets are the most powerful force for significant, widespread and lasting impact on rural prosperity. ¶ The rural poor are customers, producers, and entrepreneurs. ¶ We listen to and learn from the people we work with. ¶ We value innovation and entrepreneurship. ¶ We are results-oriented, aiming for significant impacts for large numbers of people. ¶ We strive for economic, social, and environmental equity and sustainability.
The idea that business was the solution to poverty was new and untested when Paul Polak founded International Development Enterprises (iDE) in 1982. Decades later we’ve repeatedly seen Paul’s concept proven true but the path to success isn’t always smooth or straight.
Defining the finish line
It's a bold statement but we chose our tagline for a reason.
Farmers. Marketers. Advisors. Teachers. Managers. Entrepreneurs. Our staff are all these things and more, sharing a common passion for improving the lives of others and overseeing a global organization of over 1,200 staff working in more than 9 countries.
From Bangladesh to Vietnam, Honduras to Nepal, in Canada, Europe, or the United States, we're working daily to build markets for everyone.