iDE Unveils “40 Under 40” Campaign: Showcasing the Power of Entrepreneurship in the Fight Against Poverty


Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, iDE is shining a light on 40 exceptional entrepreneurs who are role models in their communities

Denver, CO – (April 10, 2023) – As iDE celebrates its 40th anniversary, the organization is launching its “40 Under 40” campaign, spotlighting 40 outstanding entrepreneurs who are under 40 years old making a significant impact in their developing world communities, playing a crucial role in the fight against poverty. From April to August, iDE will amplify their stories, showcasing the power of entrepreneurship as a force for good and highlight iDE’s groundbreaking work across the globe.

Each entrepreneur featured in our “40 Under 40” campaign has a remarkable story that illustrates how small scale entrepreneurs, with business training and connections to markets,

can lift households and communities out of poverty. iDE believes that powering people to develop innovative business solutions, that target marginalized groups and raise incomes, provides a sustainable way to tackle endemic challenges.

Each entrepreneur embodies the following criteria: community focus, innovation, leadership, grit, is business-savvy and under 40 years of age. They are all from diverse industries and backgrounds, live in either Asia, Africa or Latin America, and share a passion for creating sustainable solutions to social, environmental, and economic challenges faced by their communities. The first two entrepreneurs to be announced and honored starting today are Adam Adamu, a businesswoman involved in the sanitation industry from Ghana and Laila Sultana, a livestock farmer from Bangladesh.

Adamu oversees every step of her latrine businesses from sale to installation. Despite cultural and religious norms that typically hold women back, her business is thriving. She became the first female sanitation business owner to work with Sama Sama, iDE’s social enterprise installing latrines in northern Ghana, but she hopes to inspire many more. Laila Sultana, a member of a local cooperative in Sylhet, Bangladesh, owns a cattle farm and managed to leverage social media platforms to continue running her business during COVID-19.

“We are delighted to celebrate our 40th anniversary by putting the spotlight on 40 extraordinary individuals who are making a real difference in their communities through transformative entrepreneurship,” said Lizz Ellis, CEO of iDE. “Their innovative approaches, unwavering leadership, and steadfast dedication to improving the lives of those around them truly embody the mission of iDE in creating sustainable change. As we mark this significant milestone, sharing their inspiring stories, we are highlighting the power of entrepreneurs as a catalyst for social and economic development, ultimately contributing to the global fight against poverty.”

To follow along and learn about the entrepreneurs and their inspiring stories, visit iDE’s official website at There are three ways the public can get involved:

Be a marketing partner and amplify the stories of these entrepreneurs to help us attract philanthropic investments.

Be a sponsor of the 40 Under 40 campaign with a commitment of support and add your logo to our landing page.

Be an investor in the power of entrepreneurship to end poverty.

About iDE (International Development Enterprises):

iDE is a non-government organization dedicated to ending poverty. Based in Denver, Colorado, our work within agriculture, sanitation, climate change resilience, and gender equality, stands out in the international development sector because we don’t simply hand out money or commodities. Instead, iDE believes in powering small-scale entrepreneurs and building robust market ecosystems that are financially competitive, resilient to changing climates, and inclusive of marginalized people. iDE has 1,388 global staff and offices in 10 developing countries.

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