Press and awards
A snapshot of the awards and recognition we've received for our work from major organizations, media outlets, and publications.
The Barr Foundation is dedicated to enhancing educational and economic opportunities for those living in poverty, with a special focus on environmental sustainability and climate change mitigation.
One Acre Fund was initially awarded ~$1 million over 2012-2014 to support crop insurance and sustainable initiatives like solar lights, tree-planting programs, and composting trials in Kenya and Rwanda.
In 2014, that gift was extended to an additional $3.7 million in all program countries through 2016 to support crop insurance, tree-planting, solar lights, and staple crop diversification packages (e.g. sorghum and millet).
In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and One Acre Fund launched a three-year, $11.6 million partnership to leverage our unique operating model and bring innovative agriculture technologies to the doorsteps of rural farm families.
The project brought access to high-impact agriculture technologies to One Acre Fund farm families, and helped create new technology adoption partnerships with African governments to reach country-wide scale.
The Gates Foundation renewed their support in 2016, with a three-year, $6.3 million partnership to create more tailored agronomic recommendations to boost crop yields, and to test new types of financial services for farmers.
In early 2017 One Acre Fund was awarded a multi-year grant to support the introduction of nutrition-sensitive components to our work with smallholder farmers.
The partnership aims to drive improvements in dietary diversity and increase consumption of nutritious food products during pregnancy and childhood and improve nutritional status of families including adolescents in the farm families we serve.
One Acre Fund was first featured by Christian Science Monitor in a 2012 article titled "One Acre Fund Helps Africa's Small Farmers Keep In Their Fields."
The article discusses how we offer "...a new type of microfinance designed specifically for Africa's small farmers."
Following that, in 2016 One Acre Fund was referenced in another article that profiled a Rwandan farmer who works with our program. The article is titled "Can Compost Save Rwandan Farmers From Hunger? One Case Says Yes."
Co-Impact announces partnership with One Acre Fund and Landesa to support 3.5 million farm families to generate 20%+ increase in their annual household farm profit by 2025.
In 2022, Co-Impact awarded a grant to One Acre Fund and Landesa, supporting the design of gender-transformative solutions ensuring equitable distribution of land and farm inputs for men and women. This initiative, and in collaboration with the government, will support the implementation of campaigns aimed at shifting social norms and leveling the playing field for women farmers.
One Acre Fund Wins Draper Richards Grant (2007).
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation carefully funds the best early-stage nonprofit organizations. In 2007, they awarded One Acre Fund $100,000 per year for three years.
The rigorous application process involved a panel of twelve top agricultural leaders and references, who all believed in our basic program model of investing in farmers to end poverty. The grant served as a call to action, providing the overhead and capacity for significant program expansion.
One Acre Fund Awarded €1.5 Million Grant to Support Tree Planting Program (2021-2024).
With the support from the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the farmers of the One Acre Fund will be able to plant millions of trees on their land in East Africa over the next 3 years. For small farmers, trees are one of the most effective ways to alleviate poverty and prevent land degradation. Trees counteract erosion of the fields, improve the soil structure and also help to remove CO2 from the air. In addition, small farmers also use the branches for bean cultivation and the leaves as fodder for their livestock. Because the trees are now grown on the farmer's own land, the pressure on the natural environment is reduced. This is important due to the scarcity of trees in the environment.
In combination with so-called 'matching funds', the Lottery's contribution will enable farmers to plant 43 million trees in Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia over the next 3 years. In doing so, they contribute to the ambitious goal of One Acre Fund to plant 1 billion trees by 2030, substantially contributing to the regreening of Africa.
The Dutch Postcode Lottery was founded in 1989 to support charities that work towards a fair and green world. Through at least 40 percent of the player’s ticket price, the lottery raises funds to support more than 100 charitable organizations. For more information, visit the Dutch Postcode Lottery website.
One Acre Fund Wins Echoing Green Grant (2006).
Echoing Green identifies individuals with ideas for social change and provides them with seed money and strategic support to help them launch new organizations.
One Acre Fund was one of 12 young "social start-ups" selected by the Echoing Green Foundation, out of 850 applicants, for a two-year startup grant.
Top 10 Most Innovative Companies In Africa (2014 & 2015).
Recognized for our innovative program model and potential for scale, One Acre Fund was listed on Fast Company Magazine's Most Innovative Companies in Africa list in both 2014 and 2015.
"Aid Lifts Kenyan Maize Farmers' Fortunes" (2012).
In the summer of 2012, Katrina Manson of the Financial Times visited One Acre Fund to take a look at our field operations and how our program model is increasing the incomes of farmers. Click here to view the story.
One Acre Fund Wins Financial Times Sustainable Banking Award (2010 & 2011).
One Acre Fund was the proud recipient of the Financial Times/ IFC Sustainable Banking Award for Achievement in Basic Needs Financing, two years in a row.
The awards attracted 156 entries from 110 institutions in 44 countries. The basic needs financing award is a tremendous validation of One Acre Fund's model from some of the preeminent thought leaders in the banking world.
One Acre Fund Included in Forbes Impact 30 (2011).
One Acre Fund was honored to be included in the Forbes Impact 30, the magazine's first-ever list of the leading social entrepreneurs who are "tackling the world's most intractable problems.
One Acre Fund launches a new partnership with the Global Innovation Fund (2017)
The Global Innovation Fund, a nonprofit investor that supports scalable, innovative solutions for some of the developing world’s biggest problems, awards One Acre Fund with a four year grant to test "what works" at a local and regional level for Africa's farmers, and scale up successful agricultural interventions within and beyond One Acre Fund's network.
In 2015, the John Deere Foundation awarded One Acre Fund a $100,000 grant in support of field staff and farmer training in Kenya.
Supporting our work Kenya and Uganda since 2015.
LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, seeks to care for those in greatest need, promote volunteerism, and inspire self-reliance. Alongside their partners, LDS Charities addresses gaps in current solutions and helps people progress toward self-reliance. The organization aids families in creating reliable access to sufficient food through local solutions and resources. LDS Charities has participated in these types of partnerships in over 30 countries since 2006. Together with partners, they are working to help farmer families thrive and escape poverty. LDS Charities has been partnering with One Acre Fund since 2015 and is supporting One Acre Fund's work in Kenya and Uganda.
Dutch Government Makes Initial Grant to One Acre Fund (2016)
In 2016, One Acre Fund was honored to launch its first partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The partnership includes a generous two-year grant to help One Acre Fund bring the power of markets to Africa's lowest income farmers.
National Geographic Features One Acre Fund Farmers (2014 & 2016)
In early 2014, National Geographic photographer Robin Hammond visited our Kenya and Rwanda field operations to photograph several farmers we work with for an article on food and farming in Africa. The photographs were published in the July 2014 print magazine and in their digital issue. To view the gallery, click here.
Following that, in 2016 a Kenyan smallholder farmer named Christine Wasike that One Acre Fund serves was profiled in another article titled "Could Climate Change Build a Business Boom In Kenya?".
2017: #16 NGO in the World
One Acre Fund is listed at #17 on NGO Advisor's (now known as The Dot Good) list of the world's Top 500 NGOs, our fourth consecutive year in the top 20. We're honored to have be recognized as a top NGO since 2012.
Read NGO Advisor's profile of One Acre Fund (paywalled).
One Acre Fund Featured on PBS (2012)
On April 3, the PBS NewsHour aired a segment about One Acre Fund's field operations in Kenya and Rwanda. Correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro visited our operations in January, and the segment discusses our operating model and how we've grown. The show is part of the Food For 9 Billion series. The segment can be viewed below or is available on PBS' website.
Founding Grant to Permanent Fund (2009)
In 2009, Pershing Square Foundation made the founding grant to start One Acre Fund's Permanent Fund. This fund provides the capital that One Acre Fund uses to make loans to farm families. At the end of every year, this fund is replenished by repayments from those same farmers, and thus can be used to serve more farmers, permanently.
Pershing Square Foundation's first gift was for $0.5 million in 2009, followed by $1 million in 2010, $5 million in 2011, and most recently, a $4 million commitment for 2014 to 2016. Each grant has enabled One Acre Fund to make a significant upward revision to our projected growth path.
One Acre Fund co-founder Andrew Youn Receives Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur Award (2013)
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides unparalleled platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance leading models of sustainable social innovation.
Each year, in close collaboration with stakeholders of the World Economic Forum, the Foundation identifies a select community of social entrepreneurs to engage in shaping global, regional, and industry agendas that improve the state of the world. One Acre Fund founder Andrew Youn was one of 24 entrepreneurs awarded for 2013 in recognition of his innovative approach and potential for global impact.
2010: One Acre Fund Awarded Prestigious Skoll Award
One Acre Fund was one of five organizations to win the prestigious 2010 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, which includes $765,000 awarded over three years. The Skoll Foundation’s mission is to drive large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing problems. The Foundation is known for its incredibly thorough due diligence and they verified that we are on a path to create as much human impact as the best organizations in the world.
For more on the award and on Skoll, please view Andrew Youn's acceptance speech below or click here to view the announcement page on Skoll's website.
One Acre At A Time (2011)
In 2011, the Stanford Social Innovation Review ran a piece about One Acre Fund's founder, Andrew Youn, and our overall operations.
One Acre Fund Awarded Grant to Support Tanzania Launch (2013)
The Swedish Postcode Lottery, through Svenska PostKodStiftelsen, has awarded One Acre Fund 3,000,000 SEK ($340,000 USD) to support the expansion of our Tanzania operations, our most recent new country launch. This grant will help to fuel our growth to more than 8,000 Tanzanian farm families over the next two years, as well as drive adoption of solar light technology to an estimated 30% of our Tanzania network by the end of the grant period.
Andrew Youn Delivers a TED Talk
In early 2016, One Acre Fund co-founder and Executive Director Andrew Youn delivered a talk at the TED2016: Dream conference in Vancouver, Canada. In his talk, titled "3 Reasons Why We Can Win The Fight Against Poverty," Andrew presented practical strategies to end extreme poverty– and made the case for putting farmers first in this fight.
In early 2016, The Economist visited our work in Rwanda as part of a larger piece examining the optimistic outlook for farming in Africa. The piece, titled "A Green Evolution", can be found here.
Subsequently in late 2017, One Acre Fund was again featured in The Economist in a piece titled "Your Inflexible Friend", which examines the resurgence of microlending around the world.
Kenya's Small-Scale Farmers Borrow Seeds to Grow Potential (2015)
In 2015, Mark Anderson of The Guardian visited One Acre Fund in Kenya to meet some of the farmers we work with, take a closer look at our field operations, and see how our program model is increasing the income of farmers.
Award-Winning Journalist Roger Thurow Publishes Book on One Acre Fund Farmers (2012)
The Last Hunger Season tells the global hunger story through One Acre Fund farm families in Kenya, linking their challenges and successes to the broader debate on agriculture development policy.
Please see below for part 1 of "The Last Hunger Season" film series, produced by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs with Roger Thurow.
The MasterCard Foundation and One Acre Fund Launch $10 Million Partnership (2013)
The MasterCard Foundation and One Acre Fund launched a four-year, $10 million partnership to expand access to financial services and training for smallholder farmers in Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi. The project will directly enable 181,000 additional farm families to improve their farming techniques and significantly increase their farm profits on every planted acre. In addition, the partnership will help pioneer a new sector of microfinance, increasing the interest and commitment among microfinance institutions to expand successfully into rural areas.
One Acre Fund Wins Mulago Social Investments Grant (2007)
Mulago Social Investments initially awarded One Acre Fund a $100,000 grant in 2007, increased their 2008 grant to $200,000, and gifted an additional $300,000 in 2013. The foundation renewed their support in 2014 for $300,000 and in 2015 with a 2-year gift of $600,000. Mulago Social Investments systematically chooses the best high-impact, scalable non-profit solutions in the developing world.
"Energizing the Green Revolution in Africa" (2015)
In June of 2015, David Bornstein of the New York Times wrote an article profiling One Acre Fund and the impact our work has had on smallholder farmers in East Africa.
Click here to read the piece, titled "Energizing the Green Revolution in Africa."
Norman Borlaug Award (2015)
Eric Pohlman, One Acre Fund's Rwanda Country Director, was the recipient of the 2015 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation, for his work in developing highly innovative programs that are transforming subsistence agriculture in rural Rwanda.
One Acre Fund Wins Two USAID Grants (2012)
One Acre Fund has been fortunate to partner with USAID since 2012. Most recently, they were awarded two grants totaling $6.4 million, for the period 2015-2018. The partnership is funded through two innovative new funding facilities: the Development Grants Program and Global Development Alliance.
Women's Economic Empowerment
In 2014 the Walmart Foundation collaborating with USAID, announced funding for One Acre Fund to train 40,000 smallholder farmers in Kenya, including 28,000 women. The Walmart Foundation generously renewed this award in 2016. The program is part of the Foundation's Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, launched in 2011.
Click here to read more about the initiative.
One Acre Fund Awarded Grants by Whole Planet Foundation
The Whole Planet Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Whole Foods Market, which makes grants to microfinance institutions in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas. Since 2010, the foundation has committed over $3 million to supporting our work with smallholder farmers in Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Their ongoing support enables us to continue expanding services in our countries of operation.