Two former CEOs who believe in the power of business to transform developing communities launched the Shapansky Foundation in 2011 after working in international development with non-governmental organizations for several years. Our aim is to actively create an impact by selecting small businesses with both passion and a strong vision to grow and enabling that growth with capital and support. By supporting these businesses and their entrepreneur’s goals, individual lives and communities of people are transformed.

Our founders with VisionFund partners visiting a client’s rice field in Ghana

Small businesses in many emerging markets face countless obstacles with regard to financing and growth due to ‘missing middle’ that exists between very small and large entities. Without access to necessary funding and development through traditional channels there is little to no room for growth, and businesses may ultimately become unable to support themselves and their communities more generally.

VIDEO: Gayani Fernando, coir fibre business owner – Sri Lanka

A dynamic coaching session developed by our foundation for Client Relations Officers, Myanmar

Our founder with an enthusiastic CRO, Myanmar

Our founder on-site in Sri Lanka

Delivering appropriate coaching, mentoring, and technical support sets our foundation apart as we provide the tools for these entrepreneurs to plan, find inspiration, and effectively manage their businesses, leading them on a path towards growth.

The Shapansky Foundation has proudly worked alongside several organizations to maximize impact. We have partnered with VisionFund International, the microfinance subsidiary of World Vision, to create the Small and Growing Business (SGB) Fund— helping them determine top clients who have a strong passion to grow, and training Client Relations Officers (CROs) to identify key points vital for making their business thrive. The founders of the Shapansky Foundation were the honoured recipients of World Vision Canada’s Power of Generosity Award in 2018.

The Shapansky Foundation is a member of The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

VIDEO: Ajith and Kemali, snack food business owners – Sri Lanka

Our goal is to help break down these barriers to opportunities and create the momentum to raise families, communities, and countries out of poverty. By recognizing and selecting businesses with certain growth potential, we help promote innovation as well as integration into the larger economic environment, and enable fledgling microbusinesses to become sustainable small and growing businesses.

Beyond contributing financial capital, the Shapansky Foundation provides a unique approach to business development and management support through tailored coaching, technical assistance, and mentoring which allows for sustainable growth.