With One Acre Fund, Andrew Youn is transforming African agriculture by helping farmers overcome the obstacles that hobble their harvests.

Why you should listen

Andrew Youn has lived in rural Africa for the last ten years, learning from the largest group of poor people in the world: smallholder farmers. When he first visited Kenya in 2006, he was an MBA student who knew very little about farming. During that first trip, Andrew met two farm families. One family was harvesting two tons of food on a single acre of land and thriving; the other was going hungry. He began asking questions.

Ten years later, the organization he founded, One Acre Fund, serves more than 400,000 farm families, providing them with the financing and agricultural training they need to increase their yields and climb out of poverty. Youn is also the co-founder of D-Prize, an organization that funds early-stage startups that are innovating better ways to distribute proven life-enhancing technologies.

Youn graduated from Yale magna cum laude, is a former management consultant at Oliver Wyman, and received his MBA from Kellogg School of Management. 

What others say

“In the coming year, Youn said, One Acre Fund farmers will have enough surplus to feed one million individuals for a full year... For most families, that means sending children to school instead of the field.” — PBS.org, April 3, 2012

Andrew Youn’s TED talk