Today we announced that myAgro is the winner of the 2018 Drucker Prize. The organization’s innovation is a Mobile Layaway program that helps smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa finance themselves by saving in small increments when they have the cash available.
Judges for The Drucker Prize recognized myAgro’s impressive results and the way their innovation has transformed the landscape of smallholder farmer financing using existing systems familiar to the farmers. The judges further recognized the organization’s promise for further leveraging the discipline of innovation and their “North Star,” which is to help one million smallholder farmers lift themselves out of poverty by 2025.
“Among the greatest challenges in the social sector is scaling an innovation within an environment rife with social and logistical challenges,” said Zach First, executive director of the Drucker Institute. “But myAgro has married an innovative distribution system to its innovative program for a population so often overlooked: smallholder farmers in developing countries. By helping tens of thousands of these farmers be more productive, myAgro is improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of their family and community members. Now, instead of being forced to eat their seed corn, these farmers are harvesting greater health, education and prosperity.”
Anushka Ratnayake, CEO and founder of myAgro said, “We couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to be selected for the 2018 Drucker Prize. Winning this prize will help us continue our work to transform the landscape of smallholder farmer financing.”
Ratnayake reflected on the valuable experience adding, “Winning The Drucker Prize will go a long way to helping myAgro and the farmers we serve lift their families out of poverty. The powerful tools and ideas we gained through the application process will help us continue to push our work to even higher heights of effectiveness.”
The Drucker Prize application process is itself a tool for nonprofits to learn Peter Drucker’s key innovation principles and practices. A survey of those who completed the 2018 application found that 93% said that doing so would prompt them to explore additional opportunities for innovation. And, most significantly, 96% of the 50 semifinalists said the learning-centric second round of the process would help their organizations be more effective.
All of the ideas and tools created for The Drucker Prize application are now available for free as the Drucker Prize Resource Library. It features the timeless wisdom of Peter Drucker, videos showcasing insights from some of today’s top thinkers on management and leadership, and other practical resources.
In addition to First, the judges for the 2018 Drucker Prize were: Ayo Atterberry, senior associate at The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Cecily Drucker, member of the Drucker Institute’s Board of Advisors; Sumita Dutta, managing director at Golden Seeds; Patricia Easton, executive vice president and provost of Claremont Graduate University; Flip Flippen, founder of Flippen Group and member of the Drucker Institute Board of Advisors; Jane Nelson, board member of Leadership Network; C. William Pollard, chairman emeritus of ServiceMaster Co. and an emeritus member of the Drucker Institute’s Board of Advisors; Charles Somerville, Ph.D. candidate in Applied Social Psychology at Claremont Graduate University; and Jocelyn Wyatt, co-founder and executive director of IDEO.org.
Administered annually since 1991, The Drucker Prize, formerly known as the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, is given to a social-sector organization that demonstrates Drucker’s definition of innovation: “change that creates a new dimension of performance.” The judges look for programs that demonstrate a strong mix of current effectiveness and future promise.