Our grants are investments in partners and programs intended to create economic opportunity and dignity for the ultra poor. Grants produce purely social returns on investment.
STREET BUSINESS SCHOOL UGANDA ignites entrepreneurship to end poverty through its business training in Kampala, Uganda. Students of Street Business School learn effective business skills and build the confidence to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs. Graduates experience a 211% average increase in income and 89% have businesses in operation 2 years later. To reach 1 million people by 2027, Street Business School launched a global training program that teaches community organizations how to implement the Street Business School program and curriculum in their local communities.
We began partnering with Street Business School in 2017 and support the organization to train new local partners in Africa to implement the business training program in their communities.
“Creating change is difficult, but if you turn problems into opportunities, you can release endless potential and possibilities.” - Nancy Akoth, Street Business School Graduate.
Street Business School
Kenya and Cambodia
THRIIVE invests in small enterprises in developing countries to help create jobs as a sustainable means out of poverty. The ThriiveCapital loans that entrepreneurs receive are distinct from traditional lending. Instead of paying back principal and interest to Thriive, business owners are required to pay forward the value of their loans through job training and/or life improving goods and services to persons experiencing hardship in the local community. Through both the capital infusion and inspiring this culture of philanthropy, Thriive helps businesses become self-sustaining community support systems. Most entrepreneurs continue to give, well after their ThriiveCapital loan is repaid.
3rd Creek Foundation is a longtime supporter of Thriive. Since 2011, we have funded ThriiveCapital loans in Cambodia, Kenya, Nicaragua, Vietnam, and Palestine.
“Thriive gave me a platform to work with needy people on a level that I would have never achieved on my own. I gave them job training and now all my trainees have found jobs. Training them while experiencing business growth has been incredibly rewarding.” - Francis Musyimi, owner of Jambe Fashions.
“I became a mom at the age of 14 and I had no one to help me support my child. I worked in various construction sites for over five years doing menial jobs, but there was never enough money to feed us. My passion has always been tailoring. I wish to thank the Thriive program for giving a person like me a chance to train at Jambe Textiles.” - Wairimu, Trainee.
UPAYA SOCIAL VENTURES creates jobs and improves the quality of life for people living in extreme poverty. Upaya does this by providing seed funding and business development support to outstanding entrepreneurs that show the potential to create hundreds of jobs in India’s most impoverished communities. As these small businesses grow, they generate sustainable, dignified jobs for families who need them most. As of summer 2018, Upaya has invested in 14 financially healthy, scalable businesses that have created over 10,000 jobs in local communities. Through its accelerator program, Upaya has supported an additional 18 companies with business development support.
3rd Creek Foundation helped Upaya pilot a debt facility program, a unique lending fund to meet certain capital needs of partner businesses. Our funding has supported companies like Maitri, which matches domestic caregivers with employer households, and SMV Green, a lease-to-own electric rickshaw company, to receive investment capital and employ over 794 people with dignified jobs, as of summer 2018.
Upaya Social Ventures
VILLAGE ENTERPRISE employs a simple, cost effective model to achieve its mission of ending extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship and innovation. The Village Enterprise one-year Graduation program provides groups of 3 entrepreneurs with seed capital, training, and on-going mentoring by a local business mentor. Village Enterprise organizes business groups into Business Savings Groups of 30 entrepreneurs (10 business groups) to allow access to growth capital, provide a safe place for savings, and build social capital. Integrated conservation training ensures that new business activities promote environmental best practices. Examples of businesses include livestock, farming, small retail stores and restaurants, tailoring, and beekeeping. Village Enterprise has started over 43,000 businesses and trained over 169,000 East Africans. In 2018, Village Enterprise helped to build 4,500 new businesses.
From 2012 to 2018, we have supported Village Enterprise programs in western and southern Kenya. Several programs included integration with local environmental conservation and improving community health outcomes.
Chin Women's Empowerment Group
The CHIN WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT GROUP enhances gender equality and empowers women in the remote Chin State of Myanmar through trainings and community centers. The group provides trainings in rural villages on gender awareness, livelihood skills, and organic farming. The initiative helps strengthen women’s confidence, savings, and, at times, income as it contributes to a more gender equal society.
This local grassroots organization is led by community leader Mary Oten, and operates on a bare bones budget. 3rd Creek Foundation supported the organization with a small grant in 2017 to fund livelihood skills and organic farming training to help women increase their savings and income where possible.
AGORA PARTNERSHIPS believes in the power of entrepreneurship to be able to solve the world’s most pressing problems. However, many people with innovative ideas lack the resources to start up sustainable businesses that could change our world for the better. Agora Partnerships equips entrepreneurs all across Latin America with the knowledge, networks and capital they need to reach their full potential.
As of 2018 Agora-supported businesses have created more than 5,000 jobs and raised over $71 Million of capital.
THRIIVE NICARAGUA has provided ThriiveCapital loans to small entrepreneurs since 2010. As of 2017 year end, these businesses have paid forward ThriiveCapital loans to over 45,000 of the most vulnerable members of their communities in job trainings and donations.
Kamel Yahia, pictured here with his new employees, received ThriiveCapital to improve his bakery and coffee shop, Delicious D’Orient. To repay his loan, Kamel trained single mothers who started a baking co-op to support their families and donated bread daily to low-income students at a local school. According to the school director, the donations greatly improved student attendance. Kamel has fully repaid his loan but continues to donate to the school today.
Palestine, 2011 & 2013
THRIIVE PALESTINE operated in the occupied West Bank from 2007 to 2017 and provided 115 businesses with $784,000 in ThriiveCapital loans during that period. In addition to the expected challenges entrepreneurs face to running a profitable business, Thriive entrepreneurs in Palestine dealt with the additional challenge of ongoing military occupation. These companies regularly navigated externally imposed resource constraints (e.g. water restrictions), unpredictable restrictions on mobility, convoluted tax and regulatory framework, and – from time to time – violent unrest directly in their place of business.
For example, one Thriive enterprise had its inventory hijacked during a raid by the Israeli military. Given this context, Thriive entrepreneurs generated over 244 jobs and paid forward $784,000 of trainings, goods, and services since the equipment from defaulted businesses was repossessed and loaned to new business to avoid actual losses.
HOSTE HAINSE NEPAL provides education to some of the poorest children in Nepal in order to equip them with the greatest opportunity for empowerment and community development. Between 2008 and 2015, 3CF funded the education of nearly 300 students per year in Sarlahi, one of the poorest districts of the country. Hoste Hainse supports the educational needs of 2,500 children in Nepal.
The organization has also implemented income generation programs in partnership with Nepal’s Poverty Alleviation Fund, establishing a goat farming and lending program, as well as skill development trainings. The organization is currently piloting a fish farm project with the objectives of providing funding for Hoste Hainse schools and creating local employment and income opportunities. This project is a for-profit non-profit hybrid, with some local stakeholders/investors generating financial returns.
Maasai Girl's Education Fund
MAASAI GIRL'S EDUCATION FUND KENYA promotes education among Maasai girls in Kenya. Many in the Maasai community are faced with extreme poverty and patriarchal societal structures that prevent girls from receiving education. The Girl’s Education Fund tackles this problem by providing scholarships for Maasai girls and advocating for them within the community, thereby increasing local acceptance and support for female education. The fund also offers business training workshops to women who would otherwise not have sufficient resources to start a business.
Today, there are 40+ women-owned businesses in the Maasai region, increasing the confidence and opportunities for many women and girls.