Five Talents

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This article is about the charitable organization. For the Christian parable, see Parable of the talents or minas.
Five talents logo.jpg

Five Talents is a Christian charity that fights poverty, creates jobs and transforms lives by empowering the poor in developing countries through innovative savings and financial inclusion programs, business training and spiritual development.


Five Talents has offices in Washington DC and London, and partners with organizations in 10 countries around the world.

Five Talents was founded at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Church leaders in 1998[1] as 'a long term response to help the poor in developing countries based on need not creed'.[2]

The patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, currently Justin Welby.


Five Talents currently works in 10 developing countries, which are: Burundi, Bolivia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Peru, Philippines, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda [3]

In the media[edit]

In April 2012 Five Talents US announced the hiring of a new CEO, Sonia Patterson, who has 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in developing business, non-governmental and community relations in the United States, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.[4]

In December 2011 the work of Five Talents was highlighted on the Huffington Post website in an article by Carolyn Sharp, a professor at Yale University.[5]

In May 2010 Five Talents was featured on the BBC's monthly television charity appeal programme 'Lifeline'.[6] A short film starring Sandi Toksvig was broadcast on BBC1 and explored the impact of Five Talents on the poor in Tanzania.


Five Talents US received a $10,000 grant in June 2012 from the Giving of Life Foundation, following a major online social media campaign in which the organization finished 9th overall in Giving of Life's online voting competition.[7]

Five Talents US was named "one of the best" non-profits for 2013-2014 by Greater Washington's Catalogue for Philanthropy, According to the Catalogue, "115 reviewers from foundations, corporations, corporate giving programs, giving circles,the philanthropic advisory community, and peer nonprofits, evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact." [8]

Five Talents UK won the 2011 Award from Advocates for International Development (A4ID) for the best Development Partner.[9] This award celebrates the outstanding achievements of legal professionals and the development organisations they have worked with in tackling extreme poverty and meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Group lending model[edit]

Main article: Solidarity lending

Five Talents operates using a savings-led group lending model. Members contribute to savings groups and can access loans provided to the group as a whole, so if one person has difficulty in repaying, the others in the group will have to cover their repayments. This system aims to reach those who are unable to take out commercial loans due to lack of collateral. Typically groups will consist of between 5 and 10 people.[10] The majority of borrowers are women.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Five Talents microfinance initiative launches first annual review". Inspire Magazine. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  2. ^ Taken from Five Talents UK Website
  3. ^ Five Talents International - Our Programs
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Luke 1:39-56: Magnificat For A Broken World". Huffington Post. 2011-12-14. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "What we do". Five Talents UK Website. Archived from the original on 2007-08-24. Retrieved 2007-11-08. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Marshall, Katherine and Van Saanen, Marisa, "Development and Faith," The World Bank, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8213-7173-2
  • Bussau, David and Mask, Russell, "Christian Microenterprise Development: A Handbook", Paternoster Press, 2003, ISBN 978-1-870345-28-6