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Dianne Calvi, CEO of Village Enterprise, on ending extreme poverty in rural Africa

The CEO of Village Enterprise, Dianne Calvi, joins us to discuss their focus on ending extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship, innovation, and collective action.

We flesh out anecdotes and delve into the statistically rigorous insights from the randomized control trials (RCTs) they’ve run to assess impact on improving lives.

We also look at the development impact bond (DIB) they’ve done with the likes of USAid and FCDO; and hear about their upcoming work with the Rwandan Government to end extreme poverty in that country by 2030.

Village Enterprise have trained more than 274,000 entrepreneurs that have started more than 80,000 businesses. This has lifted close to 1.7 million people out of extreme poverty.

This episode is for anyone who cares about ending extreme poverty (UN Sustainable Development Goal 1) and embraces an entrepreneurial spirit and the power of innovation.

About Dianne Calvi

Dianne Calvi is President and CEO of Village Enterprise, a non-profit working in rural Africa to end extreme poverty. Since Dianne joined as CEO in 2010, she has led the organization’s expansion across seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, successfully implemented the first development impact bond for poverty alleviation, and completed two randomized control trials with positive results. During her tenure, the organization has been recognized for excellence by Charity Navigator, Guidestar, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Life You Can Save, Founders Pledge, The Drucker Institute, Million Lives Club, and Fast Company (World Changing Idea Award). In June 2023, Dianne was awarded the Stanford President’s Award for the Advancement of the Common Good.

Dianne is also a member of the board of directors of InterAction and has served on several other nonprofit boards. She has written articles for Fortune, The Hill, Huffington Post, Center for Effective Philanthropy, Next Billion, World Bank, and has been featured in the New York Times, NPR, and in other international publications.

Prior to joining Village Enterprise, Dianne served as the President of Bring Me A Book Foundation, an early literacy nonprofit and held marketing and consulting positions in the private sector for Microsoft and other technology companies. She graduated with a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from Bocconi University (Milan, Italy) on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.

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