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Freeing People from Poverty & Dependency
Via Job Opportunity


To be poor is to be hungry, to lack food, shelter, clothing, medicine, and education, specifically the ability to read and write. Nearly half of the world’s population, over three billion people, live on less than $2.00 per day. In underdeveloped nations, up to 50% of the children under the age of five are malnourished due to a combination of oppressive governments, social unrest, lack of business training, and insufficient capital. Yet, there is hope, and you can help by supporting Providence International's work at home and abroad.


Providence International Enterprises, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on humanitarian relief efforts. Founded in 2000 by Robert Lincoln Hancock, a business and ministry developer with decades of microfinance experience, Providence International builds on the success of Enterprise Development International and Opportunity International, wherein he served as President & CEO and Executive Director respectively.

Mirroring the success of Enterprise Development International and Opportunity International, both of which were founded by veteran missionary and businessperson, Paris Reidhead, Providence International is a values-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to accelerating lifetime livelihoods that free families from poverty. The organization operates with established business principles and best practices, helping impoverished individuals and families forge a hope-filled future.



Imagine being part of a winning team that could end poverty for millions of families around the world. Providence International, with the endorsement of US Ambassador, Tony Hall, and College Football Hall of Fame Coach, Tom Osborne, has developed a successful sports-themed campaign, End Poverty Zone. Purchase a "ticket" for $100 and feed a family for a lifetime.


Small business loans ranging from $25 to $250 transform the lives of individuals, and robust small business loans ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 shape entire communities. Repayment terms average six months with a 97% repayment rate. Every loan is based on character, not collateral, and is serviced by trained national staff and coaches, whose services are paid for via loan interest. 


In partnership with healthy food growers, employers, community organizations, and social services, Providence International's Garden of Hope and Smart Farms sites afford ex-offenders and recovery graduates the opportunity to develop marketable skills in landscaping, horticulture, construction, and food services via mentoring, job training and placement and character building.


Providence facilitates bundling of strong local agricultural producers, processors, and distributors to create and leverage new and better markets and margins for healthy food production. Responding to changing markets and delivery systems is a key part of Providence's Smart Farms signature.

Welcome to the End Poverty Zone


Providence International EndPovertyZone endorsed by US Ambassador (Ret.), Tony P.
Hall, and College Football Hall of Fame Coach (Ret.), Tom Osborne, has developed a
successful sports-themed campaign, End Poverty Zone. With a single $100 ticket, you
can change myriad lives around the world, and join the Providence EndPovertyZone Hall
of Champions.

Know the Score


According to the World Bank, "One in ten people around the world live on less than $2. The global poor are predominantly rural, young, poorly educated, are mostly employed in the agricultural sector, living in larger households with abundant children.

Despite progress, extreme poverty remains unacceptably high, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has the largest number of extreme poor in the world at 389 million. In fact, the region constitutes half of the world's extreme poor, more than all other regions combined."  Now, you know the score. - World Bank


Change the Game

Join former US Ambassador, Tony Hall, and College Football Hall of Fame Coach, Tom Osborne, in the End Poverty Zone, a sports-themed anti-poverty campaign wherein ticket sales translate into sustainable futures for struggling individuals and families in the developing world. 

Each $100 ticket translates into a microfinance loan capable of sustaining a family for six months, during which time the loan is repaid, and another group is aided. With a single ticket, two families are raised from poverty every year, so just imagine what a roll of tickets could do, it would change the game. 

Make a Play

Where a $100 ticket sustains two families for a year, it also raises twenty families out of poverty every decade. Such change is transformative, allowing parents to visualize a future for their children, and children a life free of hunger.

Many diseases are born of poor nutrition, and as families elevate their standard of living through hard work and innovative practices, illness fades. Where acres of crops are born from a single seed, so does financial independence begin with a single ticket, so act now and make a play.


Actualize a Win

Winning in the End Poverty Zone comes from knowing you have made a substantial change in the lives of others: men, women, and children the world over whose only barrier to success is a little seed money from a micro-loan or savings program and coaching support. 

Act today and join scores of others in the End Poverty Zone Hall of Champions, placing your name, or the name of someone to whom you dedicate your ticket, on a growing list of active life game changers. Life is not a spectator sport, it requires effort to actualize a win—the satisfaction of freeing people from poverty to have a future with hope.

End Poverty Zone


Providence International’s proven formula with bundling of proven micro-finance and savings network of organizations and coupled with advanced affordable technologies can end poverty for 2 billion impoverished people worldwide—400 million families—in One Generation. This is possible with your support. 

A Winning Record

An average of $30,000 per year leveraged with matching funds and placed in revolving loan funds that roll over twice annually has done the work of $11.4 million in 16 years to free 114,000 families from poverty, forging a future with hope.

Annual Statistics

Each year from its founding Providence has multiplied donor dollars to do the work of $120,000 in loans annually with matching, leveraged and roll over use of funds. The loans are uncollateralized character loans with only a 3% bad debt which is replaced from collective fees to preclude decapitalizing the loan fund. Seventy % of the loans are to women. Every year Providence overseas partners manage these revolving loan funds and provide business services to loan recipients. It is a proven way to seed business capacity for impoverished families to solve their own problems with dignity.

  • Providence on average takes donor dollars of $30,000 a year plus matching to place $60,000 as grants to microfinance affiliates and with the six-month rollover achieves the $120,000 average annual impact in 1200 loans. It is hard to find a better form of multiplied stewardship that goes on in perpetuity to free families from poverty.
  • Loan Sizes: While loans typically range from $25 to $250, the average loan size is $100, which is enough to add an individual or loved one's name to the End Poverty Zone Hall of Champions, located in the Providence International Hall of Fame. 
  • Rollover Fund: The average rollover of loans is twice per year, which means every $100 donated provides life changing funds for two families at six months apiece, during which time the loan is repaid, e.g., $60,000 does the work of $120,000 in twelve months. 
  • Average Payback: Due to Providence International's careful vetting of grantee affiliate partner organizations the average loan payback rate is an astounding 97%, leaving only 3% of bad debt or unrepaid loans annually.
  • Yearly Participants: On average, Providence International’s network of grantee partner microfinance affiliates provide 1,200 microfinance loans per year to impoverished families representing on average 7200 people around the world.
  • Loan Recipients: By and large, six people are directly impacted by each $100 microfinance loan, a remarkable number considering the relatively small size. 

High Standards

Financial program reports and representative pictures and stories are required from each of Providence’s partner agencies twice annually. Providence requires written contractual agreements and periodic field program and financial audits with each of its implementing grantee microfinance organizations with established standards for optimal management of the funds. Each challenge grant provided by Providence is matched up to three times and must be used exclusively 100% for capitalization of loan and savings capital for livelihood enterprises. Funds for operations and fund raising come from interest, unrestricted contributions and business partnerships. This multiplication continues to transform the lives of these families. Think of what one or two more zeroes would do to multiply the transformation of lives each year. These facts have faces, hearts, families, and now have a future with hope. Millions of others wait for the opportunity to sustain themselves and meet their own needs. Be a champion to our End Poverty Zone and make a world of difference one family at a time.

Challenge Grant

Providence International has matching fund agreements with five revolving loan agency affiliates around the world. All Providence microfinance donations are matched at least once by Providence’s partner affiliates, and often by foundations, trusts, and business partnerships as well. Recently, Providence received a $10,000 challenge grant from a Trust Fund that has given thousands of individuals and families the dignity of lifetime livelihoods through microfinance loans. Challenge grants like this with your gifts are now matched twice: once by the Trust, and once by our partner agencies' constituencies.


The Human Value

For Bertha, a single-mother living in Sub-Saharan Africa, a microfinance livelihood loan meant independence and freedom. In a community where loan sharks own the majority of food carts and produce, street vendors such as Bertha are often indentured servants for life.

Yet, thanks to Providence International, Bertha now owns her own cart, and is able to buy her own produce from wholesalers, allowing her to feed her family, improve their diet, and educate her young, illustrating the human value of a microfinance loan.


Creating an Opportunity 

For Moldova's Vasan Group a single $15,000 livelihood loan created an opportunity to operate a sausage factory with 28 employees earning nearly $536 apiece. In addition, a portion of the loan's interest supports a local orphanage. 

Donor Contribution....................................$3,750
Providence Matching Grant.....................$3,750
Livelihood Loan + Bus Network..............$3,750

Total Revolving Capitalization..............$15,000


Multiplying Contributions

Your $100 contribution is multiplied at least twice by foundations and partner agencies. Deposited in a revolving loan fund, managed by one of Providence’s partner agencies, your $100 does the work of $400 each year: $100 x 2 = $200/six months or $400/year.

Discounting 3% for unrepaid loans (bad debt), your $100 feeds approximately 39 five-person families or 200 family members. Over 10 years, your $100 contribution amounts to $4,000 at a rate of $0.52 per person or $2.56 per five-person family. 

Cost Benefit

Conservative Cost to benefit Calculation: Your $100 feeds five to six persons per family or 40 families (240 people) over 10 years. Your cost per beneficiary is $0.42 cents per person or $2.52 per family. 

We call it optimal stewardship in an investment that will yield a generational life and game changing legacy. Livelihood micro-loans and savings programs give people the dignity of solving their own problems and having a future with hope.


Compelling Reasons

One of the most compelling reasons for being a Providence EndPovertyZone Champion is that your contribution is 100% reserved for the revolving loan funds that go on in perpetuity.

Administrative and fundraising costs are covered by designated pledges and gifts of Providence Board of Directors and Advisory and our affiliate partners.

Worldwide Partnerships

Providence International works closely with partner agencies around the world to deliver microfinance livelihood loans to individuals and families living in poverty. Our partners include the following organizations:


A New Beginning

Providence International's Garden of Hope is a new beginning for at-risk individuals, helping them to become productive citizens in partnership with local employers, substance abuse recovery organizations, juvenile facilities, probationers, and parolees. 

Providence equips ex-offenders and recovery graduates for jobs in Landscaping, Horticulture, Food Production Services, and Construction with hands-on job skills training combined with mentoring, and life skills coaching. To learn more, please contact us


Developing Riverland Park

California’s Riverland Park is a distinctive natural resource; a model park and farm of the future, it will utilize water, wind, and solar for net zero energy production. Among its distinctive features will be aquaponics, permaculture, and greenhouse technologies for healthy organic food production.

The riverfront site includes a riparian corridor of trails with native plantings, and a model state of the art organic farm. The vision for the signature park includes a riverwalk and agritourism, e.g., tour a model of healthy food production for California fruits, nuts, and vegetable crops, as well as an interpretive center offering guided educational tours.


Providence Smart Farms

Providence International's primary goal is employing the unemployed and providing an onramp to a future with hope, both internationally and domestically. In Northern California, Providence Smart Farms achieves this goal by clustering land and human resources, creating fair-wage, entry-level opportunities.

By creating opportunities for individuals in new and existing markets, Providence offers a replicable, scalable, and sustainable business model. By planting seeds, so to speak, both globally and locally, the organization is providing full-service support systems and technologies. Please click here to view and download a PDF outline of the smart farm program. 


Seeking Solar Donations

California is one of the top locations for solar energy production and Providence International plans to use 100% renewable energy to power its developing Riverland Park and Farm of the Future. If you work in the solar industry, or know someone who does, we'd love to work with you as we're seeking solar donations. 

Your donation of cash, time, or materials will be put to good use as Riverland Park and its Garden of Hope will be a beacon to those in need, helping to transform lives through job skills training and appreciation for the natural world. As a sponsor, you will be recognized on this site, and free to promote the affiliation. 

Our Food & Farm Economy

If Shasta-Lassen Region residents purchased $5.00 of food for home use directly from the region’s farmers each week it would generate $89 million of new farm income for the region.

- Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

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California Agricultural Facts

"Agriculture was responsible for creating 57,005 jobs in Northeastern CA in 2012 (16% of all jobs and 20% of all private sector jobs).  This includes 38,013 jobs directly in agriculture and an additional 18,991 jobs created through multiplier (indirect and induced) effects. Net farm income has increased by over 550% from 2000 to 2011 while total government payments have decreased by over 50%."

- The Contribution of Agriculture to Northeastern California's Economy in 2012, A Report by The Agribusiness Institute, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico, Dr. Erick Houk, May 2014.

In the United States, the California’s North State ranks:

  • 1st in aquaculture, forage and pheasants

  • 2nd in English walnuts, rice, Christmas trees, grains, oilseeds, dry beans and dry peas

  • Top 10 in US regions for production of nearly all other major food and livestock groups

- Reports From the 2012 Census of Agriculture (USDA): California Congressional District 1 (Counties of Lassen, Modoc, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama, Trinity, Butte, Del Norte, Humboldt)

Agricultural Cluster Enterprises (ACE)

“Institutional food purchasing should be framed around the formation and maintenance of resilient locally-based, socially-affirming, professional business networks.”

    -- Ken Meter and Megan Phillips Goldenberg, Crossroads Resource Center

Cluster Development: The creation of strong local agricultural networks, including producers, processors, and distributors, depends on reliable connections. The limiting factor for farmers wishing to sell their products to local markets is whether purchasers will choose them over low-cost providers from afar. Ideally, food purchasing incorporates resilient local networks that, operating profitably, effectively respond to changing market conditions.

Four Problems

  1. Ag of the Middle: Local food production has a sub-optimal impact on the regional economy: our people, our heritage, our resources, and our productivity. 
  2. Cluster Enterprises: New agricultural production is stymied, and market access restricted, without the efficiency of local economic clusters.
  3. Agricultural Food Distribution: Logistical food system inefficiencies pose multifaceted problems within our sparsely populated Northern California Region.
  4. Effective Altruism: Regional wealth and philanthropy are disconnected from local food production, the farming economy, and charitable food distribution.

Three Solutions

While not simple, the solutions integrate the local community, private assets, and public assets into a system of localized prosperity focused on farming and food heritage.

  1. Clusters: Enabling agriculture and enterprise clusters with a value chain coordinator
  2. Capital: Using a social enterprise model, bolster the food and farming economies via public and private resources
  3. Metrics: Evaluate novel distribution, production, and marketing models, measuring and reporting on their collective impact

Seven Opportunities

  1. Expanding Markets: As food production increases, markets expand.
  2. New Jobs Created: Expanding markets create new opportunities.
  3. Healthy Food Produced: Fresh, local, and sustainably harvested food.
  4. Value Added to Relationships: As people trade, relationships expand.
  5. New Dollars for Shasta County: With commerce, comes new resources.
  6. Productive Land and Human Resources: Utilizing nature and people.
  7. Increased Participation from Area Donors: More activity, more donations.


Fred A. Schluep, Director of Development, Providence Smart Farms | fred@oursmartfarms.com | phone 530-736-4964 | fax 530-690-6028

Robert L. Hancock, Founder & President, Providence International | providence@charter.net | phone 530-243-3373 | cell 530-949-4199


Ken Meter: Mount Shasta/Mount Lassen Region Local Farm and Food Economy, July 12, 2012. Crossroads Resource Center.
Download Article

Dr. Erick Houk: The Contribution of Agriculture to Northeastern California's Economy in 2014, A Report by The Agribusiness Institute, College of Agriculture, California State University, Chico, June 2016.
Download Article

Reports From the 2012 Census of Agriculture (USDA), California: Congressional District 1; Counties: LassenModocShastaSiskiyouTehamaTrinity; Counties: ButteDel NorteHumboldt