Our impact

Hand in Hand’s donors rightly demand results, backed by hard evidence. By measuring our reach and the impact we’re having, we aim to provide it.

The metrics we use to define and measure our success adhere to the same three principles. Programmes should be benchmarked against our friends in enterprise development using common criteria and standardised tools, the better to encourage shared learning throughout the sector. Results should be credible and transparent, fuelling constant improvement in comparison to baseline studies. And evidence should be gathered using scientifically validated systems and procedures.


Founded and Directed by some of Europe’s leading business minds, Hand in Hand International has entrepreneurship in our DNA. From the beginning, an emphasis on speed, scale and efficiency has guided everything we do.

3.46 million members trained

 3.43 million businesses supported

 5.57 million jobs created

 19.6 million lives improved


Hand in Hand wants to eliminate poverty in the communities where we work. But what exactly does that look like? And how can we be sure we’re working as effectively and productively as possible?

Ultimately, we believe eliminating poverty means two things: financially strong families who can withstand a bad harvest or unexpected medical bill and women with the money – and power – to make decisions for themselves and their families.

To make sure we’re helping our members achieve both, we measure the following outcomes, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


30% increase in monthly net enterprise income

Increase in income

They say money is power. At Hand in Hand, we believe money is empowerment: the key that unlocks a life of opportunity and self-determination that is every woman’s basic human right.

If money is the key and jobs aren’t forthcoming, how can women earn an income? The answer is entrepreneurship, and for Hand in Hand’s members and their neighbours at the so-called bottom of the pyramid, even a modest boost can be life-changing – the difference between hunger and hope. That’s why we target an average increase in monthly net enterprise income of at least 30 percent across our projects network-wide, a target we met in a recent project in Afghanistan, to name one example.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all


80% of enterprises still running after a year

Enterprise survival rate

By teaching our members the skills they need to run their own micro-enterprises, Hand in Hand necessarily puts sustainability at the core of our work. What good is a livelihood that doesn’t stand the test of time?

In our most recent relevant poll, 80 percent of our members said their micro-enterprises were sill operational – and poised for growth – nine months after their training was done. That’s identical to new business survival rate in the US, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 10 percent higher than our target of 70 percent, a goal we set to acknowledge the difficulties posed by coronavirus. Looking forward, we’ll continue to grow our evidence base by speaking to members at longer and longer intervals after our programmes conclude.

SDG 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

95% of members have savings to see them through a rainy day

Able to withstand financial shocks

It doesn’t take a crisis on the scale of coronavirus to knock families in the developing world off course. In the communities where Hand in Hand works, a bad harvest or unexpected medical bill can spiral into a lifetime of debt.

Hand in Hand makes saving for rainy day a core component of our programmes – because whether we like it or not, rainy days are coming. For now, we’re targeting levels of group savings that enable our members to deal with a financial shock without borrowing money or selling assets in line with national averages. In Kenya, 95 percent of our members had at least some savings to see them through coronavirus lockdowns.

SDG 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

99% of women members have more freedom and influence at home

Women’s decision-making at home

Empowering women to make decisions in the home, a move that challenges gender norms, is a worthy end all on its own. But when women are empowered to make their own decisions, whole families and communities win.

For every dollar they earn, women spend $0.90 on their families and communities. Men, by comparison, spend $0.40. Supporting women entrepreneurs to earn their own income – and to decide how they spend it – means more children in school, and more families with access to healthcare. That’s why we target rates of women’s household decision-making in line with or surpassing national averages. In Afghanistan, 99 percent of our members said they had more influence at home.

SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls


Hand in Hand produces regular reports, in-house and network-wide, to measure and monitor our progress. We also fund independent, third-party reviews of our programmes.

Rapid Needs Survey of our members in Kenya by 60 Decibels

“In total, 95 percent of members said their life had improved.”

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Review in Kenya conducted by Brooklyn Economic Consulting

The project played a “critical role…in creating rural opportunities for youth and women.”

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Review in Afghanistan commissioned by the UK government

“99.4% of beneficiaries saw an increase in their annual gross household income…”

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