The Enterprise Development Programme




The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) adopts an innovative approach to building sustainable businesses, combining elements of private equity and rural economic development. We invest where others don’t go – and where the potential for social impact is highest.

With your support, Oxfam provides an intelligent mix of loans and grants to small and medium enterprises throughout the developing world, helping people to work their way out of poverty. But it’s not just about providing capital. It’s about identifying business opportunities, and helping entrepreneurs develop and implement viable business plans. It’s a pioneering, business-based approach to development.

EDP is unique and it works. It combines Oxfam’s international presence and experience with the finance and expertise of our supporters and partners. It creates wealth and drives change in poor communities. Crucially, it helps many thousands of people – especially women – to work their way out of poverty.



The Enterprise Development Programme Board brings together like-minded and influential individuals who are passionate about tackling poverty by supporting would-be entrepreneurs and business people.


Each Board Member is crucial to the success of the programme, aiming to develop successful businesses in poor communities, which result in jobs and opportunities for all.


The Board has committed to work with the Programme Manager to develop the structure and shape of the Enterprise Development Programme, contributing personal expertise, as well as raising upwards of £6 million to deliver the programme (2016-2020).

Chair of the board

Rosie Bichard. Photo: Oxfam
Rosie Bichard has worked in finance since 1990, as an investment banker and then a portfolio manager for Deutsche Bank. She currently works as a Senior Analyst at Lofoten Asset Management in London, focused on global equities, after twelve years at Newton Investment Management. She is co-chair of WomenExec on Boards and is a trustee of La Vida, a health and education charity focussed on Latin America. She is also member of the Independent Governance Committee at Royal London, advisory board member for Mill Road Progressive Governance Fund and is a Member of the UK Audit Committee at UBS Asset Management Funds Ltd. She has a degree in French and Spanish from St John’s College, Cambridge and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

The Oxfam Team

Jo Heywood

Jo Heywood, Impact Investing Director. Jo has a ten-year impact investment career including investor relations and early-stage UK impact funds at Big Society Capital and supporting rural enterprises in emerging markets at Christian Aid.  Prior to this she has a ten-year fundraising career for UK charities, in international development, medical research and the arts. Jo also has experience with social enterprise start-ups in Peru and the UK, most recently Infolatinos which supports Latin Americans settling in the UK.

Jo is also a Churchill and School for Social Entrepreneurs Fellow, sits on the social investment panel for the Postcode Innovation Trust and on the advisory board of charity Refuaid.


Contact: Tel: +44 (0)7876 445274

Abrar Shahriyar Mridha, EDP Programme Manager. Abrar is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and currently pursuing Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification aligning him perfectly with his experience, passion and interest to drive systematic change for impact SME’s and alternative investment ecosystem. He has nine-year track record in leading and driving social entrepreneurship, blended financial models, strategic partnerships, fundraising, policy influencing and innovation to generate new ideas and narrate them into stories for transformative change. Abrar has also been recognized as a ‘Changemaker’ through his engagements as a Global Public Voices Fellow at Cornell University, Fellow in Youth Policy Forum, Talent in the Future Leaders InnovAsian Programme (FLIP) at Code for Asia and Ambassador in UN Sustainable Development Solution Network (SDSN).


LinkedIn: abrarshahriyarmridha

Asif Ahmed
Asif Ahmed, EDP Programme Officer. Asif has a background in working with different USAID projects in Bangladesh that focused on private sector engagement and market systems development. He is a business graduate and completed a master’s degree in development studies later. Asif has a proven track record of success in developing and implementing enterprise development programs, as well as working closely with stakeholders to ensure successful outcomes. While not working, he is passionate about public speaking, sports analysis, and traveling.
Edward Thomas
Edward Thomas, Oxfam Partnerships Manager. Edward’s background is in financial services & philanthropy, and he is passionate about the opportunity to use capital and technical assistance to bring about catalytic change for enterprises around the world. He is the key point of contact for philanthropists and other partners who are interested to find out more about Oxfam’s Enterprise Development Programme and how they might connect with Oxfam. Edward is also primary contact for the programme’s Board, headed up by Rajesh Agrawal.


Contact: Tel: +44 (0)7876 445274