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Village Enterprise is a nonprofit organization working to end extreme poverty in rural Africa through entrepreneurship.

Over the past 30 years they’ve developed an innovative entrepreneurship program that includes training, a seed grant, ongoing mentorship and membership in a savings group. They are one of the few international development nonprofits to demonstrate their effectiveness through a randomized control trial performed by a third party, and their work in Kenya and Uganda is transforming entire communities.

Earlier this year Village Enterprise was rapidly approaching an exciting milestone: 1 million lives impacted by their programs. They turned to Tectonic Video to create a series of films to raise awareness about their work and cast vision for their future.

Village Enterprise has transformed 1 million lives, and I am one.

Tata Margaret looking up and smiling

The first of these films was One Million Lives, a multi-generational story about Margaret, an entrepreneur with Village Enterprise, her daughter Grace, and her granddaughter Anne. We chose to tell the story through Anne’s eyes to highlight the fact that Village Enterprise’s impact extends far beyond the entrepreneurs they work with, ultimately affecting their families and communities.

To create the film, our crew traveled to Ngora, Uganda and spent a couple of days filming Margaret at her home, with her savings group, and with her family.  We were inspired by her story, awed by the beauty of the Ugandan countryside, and overwhelmed by the kindness of the community (many of whom are entrepreneurs with Village Enterprise).

Watch One Million Lives

Watch One Million Lives

After the launch of the film, we checked back in with the Village Enterprise team to discuss the process and end result of our collaboration. Here’s what they had to say:

You did so much work upfront to understand our programs that when you arrived in Uganda, you were able to hit the ground at an expert level. You knew the culture and the environment that you were working in, and that made it so you that you could focus on the project and the people. You really pushed us to be better than we even know we are.

Lucy WurtzDevelopment & Communications Director

We have a long-term donor who is a venture capitalist, and he’s not the type to be overly enthusiastic about anything. But after watching the film at our event, he was very enthusiastic and said it was the best promotional piece we've ever made.

Diane CalviCEO and President

We were honored to create One Million Lives for Village Enterprise, and we’re excited to continue telling their story in future films. Sharing stories is vital to a nonprofit’s success, and video is the most impactful way to show the world how an organization is making a difference.

Behind-the-scenes in Ngora, Uganda.

Douglas Scott

Doug is the founder of Tectonic Video. He has more than 20 years of nonprofit communications experience and he's humbled to lead an amazing team of passionate storytellers and artisans.