She lives a life with great risk, but also of great satisfaction and happiness. We are inspired by the reality and the concept of Dorothy to be optimistic about the future of the world’s poor. And, we are inspired by our engineering roots to be pragmatic, efficient, and creative in solving these systemic problems.
We are an innovative non-profit and we use principles from systemic innovation, lean manufacturing, startup culture, and science to learn, test and develop new ways to solve global poverty. We are successful, with 36 chapters in Canada, 10,000 members, and over 300 staff and fellows sent to Africa to date. In Canada we try to educate the private and public sectors. Aid agencies, governments, and local NGOs in Africa all seek out our help to improve their good work.
In 2012, we invested $1.5M in our African programs, like Social Business and Market Development, and $700K in Canadian programs such as the Water for the World with Toronto Public Libraries. EWB is a highly transparent organization, with only 3% of the budget going to management.
We Incubate Social Ventures: We fund and accelerate social entrepreneurs in Canada and Africa. For example, portfolio venture VOTO Mobile uses SMS/IVR to conduct polls and surveys in Ghana with an otherwise inaccessible population.
We Ground Ourselves in Reality: Our staff in Africa live in the community, work on the ground, and get their hands dirty. We work on real challenges — water, sanitation, agriculture, and infrastructure — in Ghana, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia, and other countries.
We Develop Leaders: Whether engineering students, African partners, or professionals in major technology firms, our people have transformative experiences that redefine their approach to life and work. We have helped to develop thousands of leaders now working at innovative and prestigious companies around the world.
“EWB combines the focused pursuit of a true win-win between the ideals of a better world, and real day-to-day, week-to-week impact.”—Patrick Pichette, CFO of Google, EWB Board Member
“EWB members are encouraged to seize initiative, test ideas and take risks”—Forbes, Feb 25, 2013
“EWB is doing more to take capacity development as an objective systematically than any other development organization I have seen”—Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, UNDP