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Latin America; Subsaharan Africa; India; Southeast Asia; Central Asia

Practical Action Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable practical solutions - transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them

Venture Philanthropist



Practical Action was founded by radical economist and philosopher E.F. Schumacher over 45 years ago. Mostly famous for his 1973 book ‘Small is Beautiful’, he believed in putting people’s real needs at the heart of development, and that's the guiding principle that informs everything we do today.

Practical Action uses low cost, appropriate, small-scale development solutions to help people to help themselves. Whatever we do, our activities are always people focused, locally relevant and environmentally sensitive. Our vision is a world free of poverty and injustice in which technology is used to benefit all.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher

Schumacher's ideas and philosophy continue to inform and inspire our work around the world.



Agriculture; Disaster Recovery; Employment, Livelihood, Income Generation; Energy; Environment, Climate Change; Fair Trade, Organic Products; Financial Serv./Inclusion, Microfinance; Food and Nutrition; Health; Natural Resources / Conservation; Sanitation, Waste Management

social vs. financial return preference

  • 1: Social Return First

Types of entities

  • For Profit
  • Non-Profit

providing funding for these regions

  • Latin America
  • Subsaharan Africa
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
  • Central Asia