Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award

Village Enterprise

Delivering Resilient Enterprises and Market Systems (DREAMS) for Refugees

Village Enterprise, in partnership with Mercy Corps and IDinsight, plans to scale and evaluate “DREAMS for Refugees”, a program to equip refugees in Uganda and Ethiopia with the skills, support, resources, and connections they need to become successful entrepreneurs.

Submitted: November 2020
Competition Participation
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Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award
Refugee support
Current Work Location(s):
  • Ethiopia
  • Uganda
  • Ethiopia
  • Uganda
Priority Population(s):
  • Young adults
  • Young women
  • Extremely poor people
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
  • 1. No poverty
  • 8. Decent work and economic growth
  • 10. Reduced inequalities

Executive Summary

Uganda hosts Africa’s largest refugee population and Ethiopia the third largest. Reeling from decades of poverty and conflict, both countries struggle to meet refugees’ needs, leaving 2million+ refugees to endure extreme poverty and limited economic opportunities. DREAMS will unite two evidence-based models and test the layered approach in both countries, reaching 30,000+ households and transforming 150,000+ lives. ‘Graduation’ will support impoverished households, especially women and youth, to establish micro-businesses. ‘Market Systems Development’ will stimulate the market, connecting households to new market products (e.g. suppliers), services (e.g. finance), and opportunities (e.g. land agreements). DREAMS will achieve deep impact with the most economically-vulnerable, whilst also working with the breadth required for systemic, sustainable change. IDinsight will evaluate if DREAMS has achieved increased well-being and integration of refugees. Through working with an advisory group (including UNHCR, refugees, and Governments), we will use this evaluation to advocate for uptake of the DREAMS approach.

Organization Details
Lead Organization

Village Enterprise

Organization Headquarters
California, United States
Organization ID
Annual Operating Budget
$5.1 to 10 Million
Number of Full-time Employees
101 to 300

Charity, fund, non-governmental organization, religious institution, school, or other entity