International Development Enterprises (iDE)

A nonprofit organization


“Change, not charity” evokes the essence of iDE’s approach to ending poverty. Across the world, we are powering low-income entrepreneurs and communities to confront challenges and develop resilience to climate change. Over the last 40 years, iDE has reached 40 million people with programs and initiatives that create sustainable, community-wide change.

 iDE uses human-centered design to develop products, services, and market ecosystems that solve everyday problems in local communities. We leverage the power of entrepreneurship so that people may lift themselves out of poverty. Your investment will begin a chain reaction to help people increase their income, provide health and happiness to their families, and to thrive on their own terms. Support from donors and foundations funds our efforts to directly address the parts of peoples’ lives that matter—we’re looking for what works, and you can help.

iDE is making an incredible impact around the world but proudly calls Colorado home for its headquarters. Our team in Denver works tirelessly to do a wide variety of tasks that impact our work worldwide, but none of them are possible without core funding.

Providing core funding to iDE strengthens our capacity to expand and develop business models in previously unexplored sectors and regions. Our continued impact and support of communities around the world would not be possible without the generous support of funders who understand the need for building core strength in order to be able to later expand into different, new programs. 

As a nonprofit, iDE relies on the generosity of socially conscious donors, including companies big and small. iDE is honored to work with a wide range of corporate partners including Queen City Collective Coffee, EcoVessel, The Toro Company, and Audley Travel.

One of our local corporate partners, Denver roastery Queen City Collective Coffee, has linked up with iDE in support of Honduran coffee farmers threatened by climate change, as part of a blockchain promotion that showed Denver coffee drinkers the journey of their authentic cup of joe. Bext 360, a Colorado digital supply chain company, hosts the blockchain app capturing key steps of the journey from cherry tree to cup, each step tokenized in “blocks” and stored on a secure peer-to-peer digital network, visible by scanning a QR code on a bag of roasted coffee. Your support helps to create more opportunities to connect local Colorado companies to meaningful development efforts around the world. 

On behalf of all of us at iDE, thank you for your support and partnerships. We are grateful, as are millions of households around the world that directly feel your impact. Thank you.



Handouts will never end poverty. iDE supports the rural poor in their fight against poverty by helping them learn to earn sustainable incomes. Supporting these entrepreneurs is not charity—it is an investment in their future. Supporting iDE ensures that we can continue to provide the rural poor with the tools they need to succeed. And it works. iDE has helped almost 39 million people so far, and its work is just beginning.

On behalf of the entire iDE Board, I encourage you to support iDE. iDE strives for a 10-fold return on investment so that every $1 you give becomes at least $10 in increased incomes for those working to improve their standard of living.

Bob Hill, Board Chair


"I am thanking iDE very much, especially for women. Women have seen that now we are not relying on our husbands. We do our own projects to assist our husbands to make our families to look better and to eat better and to grow better. And even have a house." - Veronica Sianchenga, Zambian farmer - worked with iDE since 2008.


"Poverty has weighted on us for so long. Now that iDE is here, we will overcome it." - Bekelech Wubeto - Marketing Agent for irrigation technologies in Ethiopia - worked with iDE since 2010.


"From the time iDE programs came into being I have been transformed into a modern farmer. I am able at least to send all my eight children to school, at least with some food on the table everyday." Moses Kaleba - Zambian farmer - worked with iDE since 2009.


"We have joy in our hearts, because we have built our assets." Mukeye Leman - Ethiopian farmer from a women's economic group - worked with iDE since 2012.


"Being an FBA [Farm Business Advisor] is stressful as there are so many problems to deal with. But I am willing to help my community. And with the commission that iDE is helping establish from retailers I can gain a good income in the future." Davies Mwanamoonga - Zambian Farm Business Advisor - Worked with iDE since 2009.



IDE confronts the challenge of rural poverty by developing sustainable solutions that serve poor women and men around the world, enabling them to access clean water, increase production, create wealth, and improve their quality of life.

Background Statement

Background Statement

When iDE founder Paul Polak first visited Ethiopia in the 1980s, Somalis were being driven across the border by conflict in their home country. He noticed the refugees were struggling as they carried wood, water, and food with rudimentary carts pulled by donkeys.

Practical and innovative, Paul used abandoned car parts and displaced blacksmiths to modify the carts, making them much more efficient. The improved carts were then sold by the blacksmiths to other refugees on credit, with payments made from income generated by hauling goods with the carts. Five hundred carts were sold, producing more than $1 million in net income for cart owners over three years. For 40 years, iDE has been working with entrepreneurs like the Somali refugees, coming up with market-based fixes to enduring challenges.

We believe the market offers the best way to incentivize people and find sustainable solutions that can be passed down through generations. Our in-country staff begin by listening to every stakeholder, working their way around barriers and through bottlenecks to build local economies and value chains that deliver goods and services to “last mile” rural and remote areas. These geographically-defined “resilient market ecosystems’’ add three-dimensional layers of opportunity, touching people’s lives as they buy affordable goods in the market, plant improved crops in their fields, and access clean water in their homes.

Organization Data


Organization name

International Development Enterprises (iDE)

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Food, Agriculture & Nutrition

Organization Size

Large Organization


1031 33rd St. #270
Denver, CO 80205

Service areas










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