Five Talents is a faith-based international development organization that helps the poor save, invest, and develop small businesses.
Five Talents began in 1998 as a means for churches to respond wisely to the realities of global poverty through transformational development. Five Talents was established based on the call of Jesus to minister good news to the poor and the biblical Parable of the Talents (which teaches that we should all work to multiply the resources we are given). Born at the Lambeth Conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury became Five Talents' first advocate and supporter. Encouraged by church leaders from around the world, the founders worked to guard the dignity of the poor while assisting them to create jobs and opportunities to lift themselves out of poverty.
Our first programs began as a novel initiative in 2000 in the Philippines, targeting low-income families in Baguio City and Igorot Village, a slum in the eastern part of the capital of Manila. Our focus was on the formation of savings and loans groups and training for microenterprise development. Through patient investment and working to build the capacity of local partners, Five Talents' impact has multiplied across the country. Today our key partner, Center for Community Transformation, offers transformative services in 23 provinces, 49 cities, and 42 towns across the Philippines. These include: business skills and entrepreneurial training, small group savings, financial services, and spiritual mentorship reaching hundreds of thousands of participants.
As programs have graduated and become self-sustaining and replicating, Five Talents has expanded to pioneer work in countries in Africa, Asia and South America. In 2006, Five Talents UK was established, helping to catalyze growth of developing programs in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The Kenya program itself became a model for financial inclusion across Africa, helping poor families save over $2.5 million and build businesses with over 99% repayment on loans. In 2016, Five Talents Kenya was officially established.
Today, thousands of churches around the world host and support our programs. Five Talents continues to serve communities in some of the most risky, remote, and rural areas in the world – places not served by banks or commercial microcredit agencies. Our work has inspired churches of all denominations, as well individuals and organizations of all religious and non-religious backgrounds, to join with us in fighting poverty and empowering the poor. Our US office is headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C.
Since its inception, Five Talents has worked to build the capacity of indigenous organizations in 21 countries, providing business skills training, spiritual formation, and access to financial services to over 210,000 individuals. Currently, Five Talents USA is engaged on three continents funding and implementing programs in the deltas of Myanmar, the slums of Jakarta, the mountains of Bolivia, and across Eastern Africa.
Through our programs, members and their families have had access to savings and loan associations and community banks that have provided over half a million loans to develop their micro-enterprises. Five Talents, through the businesses supported by these loans, has had the opportunity to provide jobs and opportunities that have impacted over 1 million beneficiaries. Learn more about Five Talents impact.