Mission Statement

Swisshand is a non-profit organization. Its entrepreneurial approach to development cooperation is based on and inspired by its Christian and humanitarian beliefs.

Our activities include a combination of intensive training with an entrepreneurial focus, the assignment of small credits, counselling and assistance. Through these efforts, we enable primarily proactive women and their families in profoundly poor regions, mainly in Africa, to pursue independent activities, allowing them to secure their livelihoods.


      1. We focus on a targeted selection of poverty-stricken regions without access to self-help programmes.
      2. Our fight gets down to the roots of poverty as we enable families to earn an income.
      3. Eagerly committed women are our primary target group. They will perforce become rôle models for their children.
      4.The participants of the programme are carefully selected, trained, and assisted.
      5. Support is provided through small, interest-bearing credits which boosts self-reliance.
      6. We offer small credit amounts, affordable credit terms and short credit periods.
      7. Our credits are closely intertwined with training, counselling and assistance; therefore, they develop a positive momentum.
      8. No debt trap will open up. As a high rate of repayment is achieved, the donations received can be used several times.
      9. The programmes are carried out by proficient, duly trained and trustworthy local partners.
      10. Progress of the programmes is continuously monitored.

Management and Organisation

In the field, Swisshand cooperates with proficient and reliable partners including mainly private or church-related development institutions and cooperatives; governmental agencies are, however, excluded. Implementation is monitored by programme managers based both in Switzerland and on site.

Standardised processes for the selection of partners, training, credit assignment and continuous monitoring of the programmes ensure a purposeful and efficient use of the means available.

In exceptional cases - and as far as it is reconcilable with our mission - Swisshand can also act as funding partner for programmes hosted by third organisations.


The foundation is financed by donations and legacies received from within the circle of its founder VCU and from other private donors, as well as by funds assigned by companies, foundations, churches, municipalities and cantons.