2017: A Milestone Year
This is good progress, but we know there is still a lot of work to be done. At this stage in our growth, it’s more important than ever to ensure that we’re using our resources productively and creating the maximum impact for farmers. In order to do this, we’re concentrating even harder on increasing our “social return on investment” (SROI), a metric that measures farmer income against the cost it took to achieve that impact. SROI matters because it looks at the efficiency of resources deployed, not just the total impact created. As we continue to increase our scale, we see huge benefits to improving our productivity, and our aspiration is to become one of the most cost-effective solutions to poverty in Africa.
In 2017, our primary services in Africa attained an SROI of 4.7—meaning that farmers saw $4.70 of additional income for every $1 in donor funding we invested. While this is already a strong achievement, we’re going to be doubling down in the upcoming year, with the goal of growing our SROI to over $7 in farmer impact for every donor dollar spent. This is a bold target, but we’re already making great strides by rapidly scaling our most efficient operations, particularly in Kenya, our largest and most mature operating country. We should have some exciting news to share about this progress in upcoming reports.
As we move closer to serving more than 1 million farming families in 2020, SROI will be a central part of our long-term strategy, helping us strengthen our foundation and shape our organization more deliberately as we grow. Our goals are ambitious, but we know how much is at stake. Hunger and poverty remain huge problems, but by working together and dreaming big, we’ll keep endeavoring to end them both in our lifetimes.