Andrew Youn | One Acre Fund
Fellows work to maximize the impact of their ideas through design. They work through a systematic process driven by the five elements of scalability: real impact, big bang for the buck, lasting behavior change, easy replication, and the right path to scale. Fellows participate in the program for two years, working through several design iterations.
THE IDEA: One Acre Fund
Deliver the elements of success for one acre farmers bundled together: use community groups to deliver training, credit and market access to small-holder farmers
HOW IT WORKS
- Recruit groups of five farmers through existing community organizations
- Provide bulk-purchased farm inputs
- Train group together through crop cycle
- Consolidate harvests and sell to buyers
- Take repayment from farmers to build permanent sustainability
THE PERSON: Andrew Youn
Andrew Youn is MBA business consultant from Minneapolis turned agricultural + microfinance social entrepreneur
After a close encounter with never-enough-to-eat poverty in rural Africa, Andrew chucked his management consulting job, got an MBA, and started One Acre Fund. Now he lives in western Kenya, where the ramshackle One Acre HQ doubles as a poverty solutions lab for a growing community of overachievers willing to work for nothing.
75% of the poorest people in the world are farmers who have been bypassed by the Green Revolution, the emergence of global markets, and the spread of microfinance. Seeing opportunity in disparity, Andrew Youn started One Acre Fund in Kenya and Rwanda to pioneer a new model for investing in small, rural farmers, much as microfinance has done for small urban businesses. One Acre Fund bundles together what farmers need, providing groups of farmers with training, inputs, technologies, credit and access to markets. One Acre recovers revenue by taking a cut from sales, and projects that at scale they will generate a 100% increase in farm income for less than $33 per family in donor costs. This model, applicable to a host of similar settings, could provide a path out of poverty for millions of farmers.