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£190 billion of aid has been poured into Africa in the past 45 years, but average incomes across large swathes of the continent have either remained the same or fallen. Hand outs, no matter how carefully they are distributed, are not working.

To make things worse, 2 billion people are still without access to financial services, including 66% of adults in sub-Saharan Africa. This will not do. Simple activities like being able to save and borrow are crucial for real economic empowerment, and that’s where we come in.

Five Talents UK is a charity registered in the UK which enables the rural poor to set up and grow sustainable small businesses. We provide innovative savings schemes, small loans, and business training for the enterprising poor. It’s microfinance for the marginalised. And we know it makes a difference. We have nearly 76,000 clients supported by local partners in eight countries. Our clients have dignity, determination and know that we genuinely care.