TechnoServe’s story is one of growth and adaptation. Sitting in a one-desk office over a drugstore in Greenwich, Connecticut, Ed Bullard launched TechnoServe’s first market-led initiative in La Ceiba, Honduras, where we supported a poultry feed mill to expand its operations and create new employment opportunities, jumpstarting the local economy.
Since that time, TechnoServe continued to grow and adapt as it developed innovative opportunities for increased impact and built new partnerships with governments, corporations, and other stakeholders in the markets where we work. In the late 1970s when John Caron became board chair, TechnoServe took the first steps toward growth. Always driven by the need to apply business solutions to poverty in a way that had meaningful, sustained impact impact on the greatest number of people, the organization expanded from four countries to 13 with a budget of $7.3 million.
The early 1990s ushered in an era of rapid growth at TechnoServe, under the chairmanship of Paul Tierney and in partnership with CEOs Ed Bullard, Peter Reiling, Bruce McNamer, and Will Warshauer. Our initiatives have grown to encompass 1,250 employees operating on more than 150 projects in 29 countries across Africa, Latin America, and India. The organization has also grown in sophistication to include a diverse staff coming from top tier consulting firms, a Board of Directors composed of leaders from the private sector, new partnerships with leading corporations, and the TechnoServe Fellows program, which has tapped into the skills and knowledge of over 1,000 young leaders from the consulting and business sectors.
Today, the idea of leveraging the private sector in the fight against poverty has become a mainstream approach, and TechnoServe’s programs helped its clients earn $189 million of additional economic activity in 2017 alone.