2023 iDE Impact Report

Greetings from the Board Chair and CEO

One of the great privileges of working with iDE is the opportunity to meet face-to-face with the entrepreneurs who are turning your support into real and lasting change. We do our best to introduce you to these inspiring problem-solvers and change-makers, but there is nothing quite like seeing the impact of this work first hand.

In this report, you can read about two such people – Abdul Rahman Hamidatu in Ghana and Annie Muleba in Zambia. They are just two of the thousands of entrepreneurs you have supported in their journey. In turn, they are opening up new opportunities for their customers and clients.

While that journey is different for each entrepreneur, it usually involves some combination of: human-centered design to identify transformative and viable solutions; basic business training; links to other service providers, suppliers and buyers; and access to finance. And, perhaps most importantly, the confidence and winning mindset that comes from having people believe and invest in you.

Thank you for being there to power entrepreneurs along the journey to success and impact. With your support, we are able to truly “grow forward!”

Where we work

Your Return on Investment (ROI)

ROI measures the impact of the money you invest in iDE. Our goal is that every dollar you donate will create a minimum of $10 in income, or savings, for someone in poverty. Often, it’s more — like in 2023!


Hamidatu’s idea, come to life!

How your support is helping make bathroom facilities more affordable in rural Ghana.

Hamidatu had an idea.

Working in sales at iDE Ghana, she knew that buying a bathroom facility (a structure that includes the toilet, floor, walls, roof, etc.) was becoming too expensive for rural customers. That meant people weren’t getting access to safe and comfortable toilets. She also knew the potential of using recycled plastic in the building materials. Using recycled plastic lowers costs, reduces waste, and creates manufacturing jobs.

With this in mind, she came up with the idea to use recycled plastic for the floor tiles used in the toilet structure.

To test this idea, Hamidatu applied for a $20,000 grant through the Polak Fund — and was awarded the funds!

These awards are available thanks to generous donors like you, who believe in the importance of testing innovative ideas to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.

With her grant, Hamidatu has done research and reached out to local businesses to create prototypes. In the end, she decided to buy the equipment needed to create these tiles in-house.

Seeing this idea come to life also includes a lot of testing. This includes testing for strength, durability, ease of cleaning and product safety.

Once testing is complete, Hamidatu’s next step is to gather feedback from potential customers.

Thank you for helping bring Hamidatu’s innovative idea to life through your support of the Paul Polak Innovation Fund!

From stress to ease

How you are helping ease the burden of life’s expenses.

“It used to be when school fees came up, I’d start sweating. I had high blood pressure. Now I just ask, ‘how much?’”

This confident quote is from Annie Muleba. She is a business owner from a small village in Zambia.

Your care and generosity is reducing the stress around life’s expenses for thousands of women like Annie, through the Her Time to Grow project.

Before connecting with iDE, Annie helped to organize local women’s savings groups and earned a small income selling soya and cooking oil. But it wasn’t enough to pay for her family’s expenses, including school fees for her children.

Leaders in her community felt Annie had potential and connected her with iDE. She received training that gave her the skills to run a successful business, as well as agriculture training. This enabled her to thrive as a female entrepreneur.

“Initially, you see problems rather than opportunities. You don’t see yourself as a solution provider, you don’t feel adequate.” Annie said. “The training opened my eyes to other opportunities.”

With encouragement and training, she started a shop selling farm supplies. After earning a good income there, she decided to expand and invested in a mill for corn.

Before her shop opened, people had to travel for several hours (often leaving at 5 am) to a larger town for these supplies and services. Not only is Annie earning more income for her family, but she’s saving people in her community time and money too.

Thanks to your support, Her Time to Grow is creating income opportunities like this for 25,000 women working in agriculture across Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia. This project aims to generate $30M in new income for women. These women can go on to positively impact an estimated 165,000 more people, including 91,000 youth.

2023 Financials