S3IDF is an international nonprofit organization that builds inclusive market systems to promote equitable economic and social development.

Our Areas of Work

In today’s world of increasing interconnectedness, people from underserved communities remain largely disconnected from the mainstream society and economy. This reality limits their opportunities to pursue better lives for themselves and their families and negatively impacting the overall prosperity of the countries they live in.

To address this challenge, S3IDF works directly with public and private entities in our projects and programs and through our advisory services.

In our projects and programs, we support entrepreneurs to run businesses that generate income while also providing their communities with basic services and employment opportunities. We take a “systems-level” approach to mobilize local bank financing, increase technology options, and deliver direct business support.

Through our advisory services, S3IDF builds the knowledge and capacity of public and private entities to create and implement inclusive business models and development strategies.

Learn more about S3IDF’s work:

Our Story

  • Origins

    The idea for S3IDF emerged from a shared frustration that conventional approaches to solving development challenges were not addressing problems holistically and that even well-intentioned programs often bypassed the poor. Building on decades of experience as international development consultants, S3IDF’s founders believed that market-based approaches could promote inclusive growth and sustainable impacts.

  • Early Days

    In the early 2000s, S3IDF opened offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and in Bangalore, India. We devoted the next several years to working with international development organizations, financial institutions, technology suppliers, and nonprofit and community groups as well as with entrepreneurs to refine our market-based approaches and to test their adaptability and applicability across different landscapes, cultural environments, and economic conditions.

  • Approach

    S3IDF influences and changes the ways public and private players interact, providing opportunities for poor and disadvantaged populations to fully participate in the mainstream economy. We develop and implement inclusive business models and development strategies that leverage resources, integrate incentives, and mitigate risk.

  • Current Status & Vision for the Future

    To date, S3IDF has developed a project portfolio of small-scale businesses, influenced the operations of other development practitioners, and contributed to innovative development programs. Looking toward the future, we will continue to spread our market-based approaches through our own projects and programs and through our capacity building and advisory services.

“S3IDF’s market-based approach not only provides a foundational structure for poor communities to develop, but it also promotes a systemic mindset shift around how development and philanthropic capital should be used. It is my hope that the success and adaptability of our approach can create momentum for other organizations to adapt parts of or the entire approach in their work, opening up more opportunities for the poor to bring themselves out of poverty.”

– Russell deLucia, primary founder, President, and Executive Director, S3IDF

S3IDF US is a registered public charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service code S3IDF India is a registered non-profit company with charity status under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 (Section 25 company under the old Companies Act, 1956) and is registered under Section 12A and 80G of the Income Tax Act