The Foundation supports the growth of high potential businesses operating in sectors unrelated to mining or oil and gas to ensure local communities have diverse and resilient economies both during, and beyond the life of the operating asset. Training, targeted technical assistance and access to capital to support economic diversification initiatives are provided by the Foundation and help strengthen local economies.

Supporting Entrepreneurship in Botswana

The Karowe Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund was launched to promote employment opportunities and economic diversification surrounding the Karowe Mine in Botswana. The fund supports early stage micro-businesses by providing dedicated business development services and access to financing to local entrepreneurs. Through this initiative, 8 new businesses have been funded in diverse industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and retail. As a direct impact of these economic diversification efforts, 26 new jobs have created.

Creating new entrepreneurs

Onneile Alogeng is a single mother of five children who was struggling to make ends meet as a small merchant in Letlhakane village. She dreamed of running her own business. The fund helped her take over a local brick manufacturing business. In just six months, Onneile has established strong sales channels, doubled production and created seven new jobs – illustrating the community’s entrepreneurial potential. 

 Onneille Alogeng, owner and operator of Letlhamosu Bricks, one of the rapidly growing brickyards in Boteti Sub-District, Botswana.

Onneille Alogeng, owner and operator of Letlhamosu Bricks, one of the rapidly growing brickyards in Boteti Sub-District, Botswana.

I have been encouraged by my business and it has given me hope for the future. It has changed my life when I least expected it. I feel my family’s future is secure.
— Onneile Alogeng, business owner

Expanding existing businesses

Dithamano Nkweyagae lives with his family outside of Rakorps in Boteti Sub-District, Botswana. While he has some primary school education and carpentry training, his passion is goat farming. The fund has provided him with the financing to expand his goat herd from 20 to 170 goats. Business training also helped him to become a better herd manager, ensuring consistent year round income. The resulting profits have enabled him to upgrade his house with solar electricity, and he has become one of
the district’s top goat farmers.

My business has changed the outlook on my goat production as I never thought it could be operated on such a commercial basis. I am grateful for the role the fund has played in transforming my dreams and plans.
— Dithamano Nkweyagae, goat farmer


The Foundation, in partnership with the Central District Council, supported the upgrade and expansion of the slaughterhouse to a modern certified abattoir, with increased processing capacity and adherence to national health standards so that local livestock producers gain increased incomes from livestock sales. The abattoir opened for operations in May 2016 under the management of the Letlhakane District Council and has been steadily increasing monthly processing capacity.  The Foundation continues to support management through targeted technical assistance and training programs.

Letlhakane Abattoir

Livestock plays an important role in households living in Boteti Sub-District, the area in which Karowe Mine is located. Prior to 2015, the community relied on a slaughterhouse which could not keep up with growing demands of the local market, or meet health and sanitary standards, negatively impacting livestock producers. 

Bolstering Small-Scale Producers in Ecuador



Lundin Gold's Fruta del Norte mine is located in the province of Zamora Chinchipe where agriculture and dairy farming are mainstays of the local economy. Over 30% of local households are reliant on the production and sale of coffee, cocoa and plantains for income. To ensure on-going and improved incomes for local farmers, the Foundation partnered with APEOSAE and national level buyers to strengthen production and management capacity and secure new commercial relationships. The Foundation has provided technical assistance and financing to support the turnaround. Since the launch of the initiative in April 2016,  APEOSAE has experienced 63% increase in sales and 53% increase in income paid to local producers.

Growing local farms

APEOSAE is an established local farmers' association that provides an important link to market for local coffee, cocoa and plantain producers. However, due to high reliance on
non-recurring grants, APEOSAE was facing production and financial difficulties. The Foundation began providing technical assistance and financing to APEOSAE to strengthen production and management capacity, and secure new commercial  relationships.


Dairy production in the province of Zamora Chinchipe provides steady incomes for over 15% of local households. ECOLAC is a regional dairy processor providing market access to hundreds of local dairy farmers. However, low levels of production and poor handling practices prevent farmers from receiving higher prices and more income. In 2016, the Foundation launched an initiative supporting ECOLAC to work with their suppliers to improve herd management and milking practices. The Foundation has provided technical assistance and financing to ECOLAC. Since the launch of the initative in January 2016, ECOLAC producers have seen a 20% increase in production as well as a higher income for dairy farmers by about $814 annually.


Improving dairy production

ECOLAC is a regional dairy processor providing market access to hundreds of local dairy farmers. However, low levels of production and poor handling practices prevented farmers from improving their incomes. In 2016, the Foundation began supporting ECOLAC and 90 small-scale dairy producers to improve production. We provided capital and technical assistance to improve dairy production, handling and animal management.

Empowering Micro-Enterprises

The Kenyan Government, in partnership with neighouring countries is launching the Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), a large infrastructure project which includes transportation infrastructure and an oil and gas pipeline. The LAPSSET corridor traverses Turkana, Isiolo and Lamu counties, three under-served counties with limited economic activity. The Foundation is supporting two key initiatives to leverage the economic spin-off arising from the construction of LAPSSET to ensure employment and income gains can be retained within surrounding communities.


In 2015, the Foundation launched the Lundin Equity Bank Emerging Entrepreneurs Fund in the marginalized Turkana, Isiolo and Lamu counties of Kenya. The fund provides local micro-entrepreneurs with business training and access to finance through a loan guarantee program to unlock additional capital to micro-enterprises which otherwise would have difficulty securing financing with local banks.

Training delivering business growth

Risper and James are a husband and wife team operating two grocery stores in Lodwar. They first started selling fruits informally and took on micro loans to expand their business. They participated in the Fund’s training, which has qualified them to access a loan 10 times larger than previous loans, enabling further expansion of their business. 

Our business success has helped us pay for our children’s education, purchase three plots of land and help out friends and family when they are in need.
— Risper Wangari Gachanja and James Njoroge, Batim Groceries


The Foundation is the co-founder and investment manager of LAPSSET Investments Ltd., launched in partnership with Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). LAPSSET Investments is a $1.3mn investment vehicle targeting the growth of small and medium sized businesses operating, or originating within, the three LAPSSET counties - Turkana, Isiolo, and Lamu. LAPSSET Investment will provide between $100,000 and 500,000 USD of capital to businesses operating within the oil and gas supply chain, transportation and logistics or agriculture sectors, with a view to increasing employment opportunities and income benefits along the corridor.

Fostering Small Business Growth in Michigan

Access to financing 

The Foundation, in partnership with Northern Initiatives, launched the Eagle Emerging Entrepreneurs fund to support the growth of small businesses in the communities around Eagle Mine. The Foundation has provided a partial loan guarantee to high-potential businesses, which have also received business training. To date, the Foundation's guarantee has enabled the provision of over $820,000 in loans to 22 local businesses operating in retail and services, agricultural and manufacturing sectors. In turn, more than 140 jobs have been retained or created in the area through access to financing.