GR001 Introduction to Good Return

Welcome to Good Return! 


1. Breaking the cycle of poverty - the driving force

Global poverty

Since 1990 over 1 billion people have escaped extreme poverty globally. While a significant achievement we shouldn't become complacent.

According to The World Bank (2013) 746 million people, or 10.7% of the world's population, are still living in extreme poverty on less than $1.90/day (2011 Purchasing Power Parity). Around 25% of the world’s population are living on less than $3.10/day.

Nearly half of the extreme poor are based in our Asia & Pacific region (World Development Indicators - see for further information).

The role of financial inclusion

Increased financial inclusion is a critical factor in reducing poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth.

While there has been progress toward financial inclusion for all, an estimated 2 billion working age adults globally still lack access to a transaction account (Global Findex 2014) and are excluded from the formal financial system.

The poor experience the greatest barriers to access, not only because of poverty but also due to costs, travel distance and paper work involved. 

Women make up a disproportionately large share of the unbanked. That gap is even larger among those in poverty.


UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the UN adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.

For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like us!

It is estimated that 746 million people worldwide live on less than this per day

  • $2.00
  • $2.40
  • $1.90
  • $3.10

According to the Global Findex 2014, how many adults of working age globally do not have access to financial services?

  • 2 billion
  • 1 billion
  • 4 billion
  • 3 billion

2. Our Vision & Mission - origins

Our Vision & Mission

No one deserves a life of poverty. By accident of birth, many people are born into a life of brutal hardship, just like their parents before them. Left unchallenged, this cycle will continue. Poverty is more than just scarcity. People living in poverty face many challenges that arise from failed crops, diseased livestock or natural disasters. Our work to break the poverty cycle for future generations is ambitious, but it is focused on areas where we believe we can make a lasting difference.

In the below video, Good Return (& World Education Australia) founder Guy Winship speaks about our Vision and Mission


Our Vision

Our Mission

Knowledge Check #1: Complete the following statement

Our Vision is a world without where people have access to and to improve their own lives

Knowledge Check #2: Complete the following statement

Our Mission is to enable those living in poverty to achieve economic through responsible financial and capability  

3. Our history - what we've achieved to date

2004 - 2006

Good Return is an initiative of World Education Australia Limited founded in 2003 by Guy Winship. An affiliate with the global World Education Inc network founded in 1951 by Welthy Honsinger Fisher..

2007 - 2009

2010 - 2012

2013 - 2016

Knowledge Check: match the year with the milestone

  • WEAL founded as an organisation
  • Granted full accreditation status with Australian Aid
  • Good Return (GR) brand developed
  • 5,000th borrower/$1 million funded through GR loans

4. Our Values - guiding all that we do


(Left) Farmer Field School (FFS), Indonesia 

Helping smallholder farmers improve their agronomy skills to improve yields and incomes alongside implementing environmentally sustainable practices.

Our programs are intended to effect positive social, economic and/or environmental change that continues into the future.


We build the capacity of partners and individuals to increasingly manage their own development and resources.

What this looks like for our:


(Left) Face to Face CAFE session, Nepal

In the field the CAFE mobile app facilitates innovative learning - a feedback loop between learners, trainers, and Good Return.

We strive to be a learning organisation that embraces experimentation, open reflection and continuous improvement.


We innovate and learn through projects, partnerships and people, and use these learnings to inform future activities.

What this looks like for our:

Equal Opportunity

(Left) Face to Face CAFE session, Cambodia

In Cambodia it is common for all family members to participate in financial literacy training sessions, ensuring opportunities and skills are available to all.

We address disadvantage by promoting equal economic opportunity for all, with a focus on those living in poverty (<$2/day PPP) and those identified as being disadvantaged or excluded in the local economic context, including women and people with disability. 


We identify economic disadvantage through research, protect economic rights through consumer protection, and promote equal economic participation through targeted programs.

What this looks like for our:


(Left) PPI surveying, Fiji

With the help of the PPI (poverty targeting, measurement and tracking tool), institutions integrate objective poverty data into planning, delivery and decision making both at programmatic and strategic levels.

Our work addresses identified needs and is designed to maximise results and lasting benefits for our partners and those they serve.


We work with partners and their clients to identify needs and desired outcomes, and assess progress towards these.

What this looks like for our:


(Left) National Bank of Cambodia in partnership with Good Return and World Education Cambodia launched the Let's Talk Money Campaign. Here the team is pictured with winners of the Youth Storytelling competition)

Increasingly we look to collaborate with agencies that play key roles in progressing their country's financial inclusion and economic empowerment agenda. We work to build mutual capacity while furthering the reach of our work.

We work in partnership with organisations overseas and in Australia. Our partnerships are flexible and able to evolve over time, based on mutual interest, respect and trust.


We identify economic disadvantage through research, protect economic rights through consumer protection, and promote equal participation through targeted programs.

What this looks like for our:


(Left) Smart Certification award presentation, Cambodia (Shane with MFI partner CEO)

GR partners with the Smart Campaign to provide Smart Assessments and technical assistance to our financial service provider partners.

We demonstrate the highest level of ethics in our work and behaviour in accordance with the ACFID Code of Conduct.


We promote a culture of transparency, fairness, equality, professionalism and accountability, guided by our organisational values.

What this looks like for our:

Knowledge Check: Drag and drop the actions to the corresponding value

  • identify economic disadvantage
  • embrace experimentation, reflection & continuous improvement
  • promote a culture of transparency
  • form agreements based on common objectives
  • identify needs and desired outcomes
  • effect positive change that continues into the future

5. Our organisational structure - the teams that make it all happen

An overview of Good Return's organisational structure

Knowledge Check: Mark the following statements as True or False

  • The organisation currently has 270 active members
  • The Board of Directors has four sub-committees: Nominations, Fundraising, Audit and Remuneration
  • Organisational support is delivered by a combination of the: Marketing & Fundraising, Operations & People, and Finance Teams

6. Our governance & credentials - best practice

An overview of Good Return's governance and credentials

Knowledge Check: Which of these organisations does Good Return not hold credentials with?

7. Our core business - programmatic focus

Our Programmatic Focus

Our focus is on empowering those living in poverty to engage with service providers and others to enable active and equal economic participation. We engage strategically with partners to help them innovate financial services and economic opportunities that benefit those living in poverty. and support economic empowerment for the poor through our four key programs:

  • Responsible Inclusive Finance.
  • Financial Capability & Consumer Empowerment
  • Smallholder Agribusiness Solutions
  • Good Return Loans.

Responsible Inclusive Finance

Good Return works with our partners to put clients at the centre of their operations. We begin by agreeing a plan for the institution’s social and financial performance. In this, their management team commits to strengthen consumer protection practices, create a positive customer experience, and track their impact on reducing client poverty levels

Financial Capability & Consumer Empowerment

Our approach recognises the importance of consumer behaviour in improving the delivery of financial services. We deliver this program primarily through our CAFE (Consumer Awareness & Financial Empowerment) initiative, engaging with national level microfinance associations to extend our reach and impact

Smallholder Agribusiness Solutions

The poorest overwhelmingly depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. In Indonesian Borneo our innovative Farmer Field School program teaches smallholder farmers new techniques for soil and pest management, use of organic fertiliser, and how to optimise yields. This work is underpinned by a strong awarerness of environmental sustainability. 

Good Return Loans

Our online loan platform enables financial service partners to access interest free capital and support expansion of pro-poor financial services. This is our key engagement link with supporters in Australia.

Knowledge Check: Match the description to the appropriate program

  • Engaging with national level microfinance associations
  • Teaches smallholder farmers new techniques
  • interest free capital to expand pro-poor financial services
  • Strengthening consumer protection practices

8. Our core business - where we work

Where We Work

Knowledge Check: In which 8 countries does Good Return currently run programs in?

  • Nepal
  • Cambodia
  • Fiji
  • Tonga
  • Sri Lanka
  • Philippines
  • Laos
  • Solomon Islands
  • Vietnam
  • Indonesia

9. Cross-cutting themes - underlying our work

Gender Equality


Gender Equality

We promote gender equality as an essential first step to improving the lives of all. History demonstrates how better education and economic opportunity for girls and women are critical to any country’s development. 

We recognise gender roles in different cultures, but aim to reduce disparities as a means of empowering women, and to achieving responsible financial inclusion.

Child Protection


Child Protection

We adopt a zero tolerance approach to child abuse, including trafficking, pornography or other types of exploitation. We monitor all the activities we support, to ensure that at minimum they do no harm to children. We educate our partners about risks to children, and pilot initiatives to address them.

Disability Inclusion


Disability Inclusion

Disability is a global development issue. Some 80% of those with disabilities live in developing countries, where they represent the 20% poorest of the poor. Disability and poverty reinforce one another. To address this challenge, we will engage with local Disabled People’s Organisations who are best placed to help those in the communities where we work.




We ensure that our programs are compatible with a sustainable natural environment. We encourage partners to adopt a social performance agenda that includes awareness of and protection of natural resources. We seek to minimise our own environmental footprint and to limit our impact on climate change.

Knowledge Check: Click on the four cross-cutting areas Good Return currently focus on

10. Who we work with - our partnernships

Microfinance Partners

Microfinance Partners

Good Return collaborates with microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the Asia Pacific to apply funds raised in Australia to improve the lives of the clients. We choose our partners after a thorough selection and due diligence process. Our partners are committed to:

  •  Strong consumer protection practices 
  • Positive client experience and outcomes
  • Measurement and tracking of poverty levels

Sector Partners

Sector Partners

Good Return work closely with partners to innovate services and approaches through technology, data analytics, research and iterative human centred design which for instance includes:

  • Research bodies 
  • Technology firms 
  • Agriculture sector players 
  • Media

Corporate Partners

Corporate Partners

World Education Australia received significant monetary and or pro bono support from corporate partners and some High Net worth family trusts.

Knowledge Check: Match the type of partners with the logos

  • Microfinance Partners
  • Corporate Partners
  • Sector Partners

11. Final Words

Thank you

Well done! We hope this introduction course has been an informative look at who we are as an organisation - our vision, mission, programs and values. 

We know that your own skills, experience and approach will add great value to our efforts in working towards the eradication of poverty in the countries in which we work. Once again we welcome you to the team.