Headquartered in Washington, D.C., TechnoServe is a non-profit helping "entrepreneurial men and women in poor areas of the developing world to build businesses."

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As an entrepreneur I am a strong believer that businesses are often the best way to solve problems. Don’t get me wrong—I love non-profits, but the ruthlessness of the business world breeds efficiency and effectiveness. We’ve seen plenty of non-profits try to cure poverty, yet poverty remains one of the world’s biggest problems. Lately we’ve seen more and more business based solutions aimed at eradicating poverty. TechnoServe, is a non-profit (the irony!) that is doing just that. They help “entrepreneurial men and women in poor areas of the developing world to build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth for their families, their communities and their countries.” What they’re doing may sound like some new social entrepreneurship startup, but they have a 40 year track record of successfully transforming the lives of the world’s poor. I guess business based solutions to poverty aren’t a new idea at all.

TechnoServing Up Some Exciting Jobs

When I first heard the name TechnoServe, I imagined some sort of technology related non-profit; however, that’s not what they are at all. In fact, what TechnoServe does could be considered quite basic. They’re helping people do what other people have been doing for thousands of years—building sustainable businesses. Last year they helped 1,350 businesses generate $149 million in total sales, while in the process touching the lives of 1.2 million people. TechnoServe does this through three key practices: Developing Entrepreneurs, Building Businesses and Industries, and Improving the Business Environment. Over the years they’ve expanded to more and more countries, so they now cover: Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, and India. Their U.S. based offices are in Norwalk, CT and Washington, DC; and you can find information on their jobs here. Most of their job openings don’t profile for new college grads and they don’t accept applications for unlisted positions; however, with the right background (they really like consulting experience) you may find a few of their job listings to be a good fit. Additionally, they have a three to twelve month Volunteer Program that can groom you for a job with TechnoServe. Check it all out and see what works for you.

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