Two entrepreneurs in Rwanda get to work.

Fighting poverty with jobs

Hand in Hand’s job creation model

Group savings and skills training aren’t rare. Nor, for that matter, is microfinance. But where other organisations focus on one or two of these elements, Hand in Hand combines all three – then adds a fourth by connecting entrepreneurs to larger markets. Our model is efficient and cost-effective. Network-wide, we nurture the creation of more than 1,000 jobs a day, seven days a week. That’s more than 350,000 jobs a year. In India, where our job creation model was first tried and tested, jobs cost as little as US $37 each to produce. In Afghanistan – our most challenging context, hampered by security concerns and difficult geography – that figure is approximately US $391. According to the Institute for the Study of Labor, other programs spend US $21 to US $400 per person on training alone. We work in four key stages.



Setting up groups

First we create Self-Help Groups, typically made up of women, who support each other, save together and learn together. Contributions to group savings funds are required from all 20 or so members at every weekly meeting.

Damaris Musyoku talks at the Sisters of Hope Group meeting outside their church in Mumandu near Machakos some kms outside Nairobi. They have learned their business skills from NGO Hand in Hand’s Business Relations Officer Robert Mwongera whose training has allowed the Sisters of Hope group to be successful table bankers and have small successful businesses such as woollen floor mats.

Business training

Once a group is stable, with its savings fund firmly in place, we train members to discover and develop small businesses with modules in basic bookkeeping, business development, marketing and more. Illiterate and innumerate members are trained using pictures, parables and songs.
Peter Maina |Treasurer for Self-Help Group counting money |Thika, Kenya

Peter Maina |Treasurer for Self-Help Group |Thika, Kenya

Access to credit

Group savings funds help finance most new Hand in Hand businesses. But when members need more than they can borrow internally, we train them in credit management and provide access to microloans, typically worth about US $100, funded by us or a partner. The average repayment rate network-wide is comfortably above 99 percent.
Zacharie Itegekaharmde in fron t of his motorbike | Mobile phone agent | Kayonza District, Rwanda

Zacharie Itegekaharmde | Mobile phone agent | Kayonza District, Rwanda

Links to larger markets

Finally, we help established Hand in Hand entrepreneurs compete – and thrive – by finding larger markets, sourcing cheaper supplies and improving their branding, packaging and more. Scaling up helps entrepreneurs provide for their families and benefits their communities.

Download our strategic plan

Find out where we’re headed, and how we plan to get there. Our strategic plan covers the period from 2017 to 2021.

Download now

Our partners

We’re working with partners to create 250,000 jobs in a growing list of countries. Find out who, and where.

Find out more

Independent reviews

Our donors rightly demand results, backed by hard evidence. Click below to read independent, third-party reviews of our work in Kenya and India.

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Talk to us about our approach


Michelle Gillan Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager

With more than 10 years' experience in the not-for-profit sector, Michelle has designed and evaluated programmes throughout the developing world, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tel: 020 7514 5082

Institutions & foundations

Amalia Johnsson Head of Programmes

Amalia heads up our programme development team. Before joining Hand in Hand she was Programme Manager at Plan International UK, spent several years at the OECD and worked in finance.
Tel: +44 (0)7508 075 601