Nonprofit Fellowships

How Oliver Wyman Is Using Its Expertise To Combat Poverty

Our partnership with TechnoServe, a nonprofit that upskills low-income communities, is helping our Nonprofit Fellowship program improve lives around the world

While it seems easy these days to feel despondent about the state of the world, our employees are rolling up their sleeves to change lives, communities, and societies for the better.

Our Nonprofit Fellowship program gives our consulting staff the opportunity to work with nonprofit organizations in mostly developing countries on projects that have far-reaching and life-changing effects — from conservation in Zambia to educational programs in Peru

Our partner in many of these experiences is TechnoServe, a US-based global nonprofit that harnesses the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves and their families out of poverty. It operates in 30 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia and has worked side-by-side with 24 Oliver Wyman consultants over the years. 

Senior Consultant Sophia Lynn is a current fellow with TechnoServe in Zimbabwe, where she is developing an inclusive business plan for a business in the horticulture sector. The Southern African country faces significant financial and social challenges, including high inflation, unemployment, and currency instability. Despite these difficulties, Zimbabweans resiliently seek ways to rebuild and improve their country’s future — and we are proud to have our fellows play a part. Here she is on the ground, sharing her story:


The fellows from Oliver Wyman bring enormous value to our programs and the farmers, entrepreneurs, and communities they support. The research, analysis, and other work fellows do on the ground enables us to design and deliver impactful initiatives. At the same time, the fellows grow into leaders — it’s a real win-win relationship
Megan Moyerman, Senior Manager, TechnoServe's Fellows program

Fellows work full-time on development programs, across cultural divides and language barriers. The programs are varied and often involve assessing opportunities, crafting business and funding strategies, strengthening operational capacity, designing projects and proposals, and evaluating program impact. Fellows can also work on strategic research and educational and training programs.   

From driving on the wrong side of the road to driving significant change, our Fellows leave an impression wherever they go. 

Jake Ritchken, a principal in the New York office, shares this unique experience: "I traveled to South Africa for five months in 2018–19 to work on a project focused on supporting community development, including increasing financial literacy and improving youth education in rural communities. I wanted to do a fellowship to experience working for a nonprofit while also making a significant impact on the world. I ended up pushing myself out of my comfort zone in many ways — traveling in rural areas, hosting meetings with very different characters, driving on the wrong side of the road… I also learned to hustle, since I had to drive a lot of initiatives and make things happen. I did a lot of cold calling and showing up at people’s doors for meetings! Taking a break from the day-to-day was fantastic and helped my professional development over the longer term. The personal impact was also significant."

It was great being a part of a community in a structured program where I could make such a large impact with the skills I developed at Oliver Wyman
Jake Ritchken, Principal in the New York office

Mikel Narbaiza, the senior manager of TechnoServe Strategic Initiatives, shares his thoughts on Jackie Phi's experience: "Jackie Phi has been one of the most amazing fellows we’ve had in a long time. The study she conducted in Cambodia focused on identifying investment opportunities for smallholder farmer-inclusive and climate-resilient growth. She had an in-person meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and his advisers to share the findings and positively influence their agenda. As a direct result of her work, TechnoServe is now supporting two agribusinesses and thousands of smallholder farmers within their sourcing footprint to expand and optimize their linkages, leading to increased incomes and climate resilience for smallholding farmers."

Jackie Phi engaged with more than 40 stakeholders, from donors and government to agribusinesses and investors, and referred to more than 100 studies
Mikel Narbaiza, Senior Manager, TechnoServe Strategic Initiatives

Associate Leona Chao conducted a market diagnostic on mangos in Kenya and developed a market system strategy. The project and her Fellowship were a great success, as her TechnoServe project director, Carolyne Maine, explains: Leona played a crucial role in the project, particularly in assessing the reduction of losses along the mango value chain, following a two-year YieldWise program intervention. She conducted interviews with mango market stakeholders, from donors and INGOs to government bodies and private sector entities.

Quantifying losses and waste is a tedious process – with no accepted global protocols – and Leona’s contributions were instrumental. We greatly appreciate her dedication and expertise in this endeavor
Carolyne Maina, Project Director, TechnoServe Kenya

At a glance

The number of Oliver Wyman employees who have done a TechnoServe fellowship
The number of fellows who did two or more projects with TechnoServe
The number of countries to which our fellows traveled
East Africa
The most visited region, with 12 fellows. Southern Africa hosted eight, Asia six, and Latin America two
1.3 MM
People and businesses with increased revenue
The share of women and women-owned businesses among direct beneficiaries of TechnoServe’s programs. In Southern Africa, the number rises to 88%
366 MM
The amount of increased revenue and wages because of TechnoServe projects*

*Source: TechnoServe