EMpower - The Emerging Markets Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: EMpower supports local NGOs in emerging market countries that are working with at-risk youth to improve their education, health, well-being, and livelihoods.

IP TAKE: When approaching EMpower, potential grantees need to emphasize how their work aligns with EMpower’s mission. It is also crucial for grantseekers to explain how their projects benefit the overall communities in which they work. 

PROFILE: Founded in 2000 by several finance professionals working in the Emerging Markets sector, the EMpower seeks to support "[l]ocal organizations in EM countries that provide at-risk youth with the tools and resources they need to lead healthy, productive lives." With offices in the U.S., U.K. and Hong Kong, EMpower connects Emerging Markets (EM) professionals' resources with "[l]ocal organizations in emerging market countries." EMpower develops relationships with local organizations in EM countries in order to "[i]mprove the lives of at-risk young people as well as to create communities where all youth can thrive."

EMpower's partnerships can last up to ten years. EMpower offers its partners: grant support; technical assistance that facilitates the organization’s growth and development; and "knowledge-based support to convene and network organizations and individuals, to share best-practices, replicate and scale successful programs." 

EMpower’s decision to focus on at-risk young people ages 10 to 24 is based on its belief that this age group has the most "potential.” Without access to proper tools and skills necessary to leading successful lives, EMpower believes their “[v]alue is wasted; hope is lost, and a vital generation is sidelined.”

To facilitate its mission, EMpower's global development related grantmaking focuses on education and livelihoods. Its Education grantmaking focuses on improving the quality of education, skills building, closing the gender gap, and building STEM skills and its  Livelihoods program focuses on job readiness, financial literacy, skills building, and entrepreneurship. 

Grantseekers can explore the foundation’s current grantee list to explore the groups the foundation funds. While EMpower seeks to support all at-risk youth in EM countries, it has partnered with the Nike Foundation to provide support for projects that are designed to benefit adolescent girls in developing countries.

EMpower focuses its funding on local organizations and grassroots groups that have proven track records of success. Initial grants tend to span 12 months, and the foundation offers grantees the opportunity to apply for multi-year funding given that their work has produced measurable results and their missions continue to align with EMpower’s. The foundation limits its multi-year funding to 10 years and does not accept unsolicited requests for funding. 


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