MEDA: Creating Sustainable Business Solutions to Poverty

December 8, 2021

Founded in 1953, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is an international economic development organization that aims to reduce poverty by boosting local economies, investing in low-income entrepreneurs, and helping small businesses receive training and financial services. MEDA's vision is to give all people the ability to actualize their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for families, and enrich communities.

Dr. Albert Friesen, founder, CEO, and Chairman of Medicure, served as a board director with MEDA for 9 years (2012-2020) and chaired the international board from 2014 to 2017. Dr. Friesen is a strong advocate for providing business solutions to poverty and was first attracted to MEDA by its mission to create solutions that are sustainable and measurable. His appreciation for MEDA's work deepened when he visited MEDA's projects in Paraguay, Peru, and Bolivia, witnessing the entrepreneurial spirit and positive impacts of the projects in their communities first-hand.

In 2021, MEDA supported 23 projects in over 20 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, and Central America. Locally, the MEDA Winnipeg Hub played an important role in co-founding Opportunities for Employment (along with Mennonite Central Committee Manitoba and the Eden Foundation). Since its beginning more than 25 years ago, Opportunities for Employment has helped more than 27,000 difficult-to-employ Winnipeg residents find work with more than 5,000 Manitoba employers.

Learn more about MEDA and their global impact here.