Richard Schroeder is a Strategic Partner at RESOLVE and leads our Development Works program, which designs and catalyzes innovative natural resource development projects to support sustainable development and foster responsible supply chain. These projects help advance the mission of RESOLVE and its partners.
In 2008 Richard founded an innovative impact enterprise in Sierra Leone West Africa, called the First Step Economic Opportunity Zone, which involves the collaboration of for-profit businesses and non-profit organizations to develop manufacturing industry that adds value to local natural resources and promotes the development of efficient and ethical supply chains. First Step established Sierra Leone’s first major manufacturing enterprise in more than two decades, Africa Felix Juice. The innovation of First Step has figured prominently in international media including a feature by CNN and articles in the Guardian, BBC’s Focus on Africa, the Globe & Mail, AP, Forbes and many other news outlets.
Richard served as First Step’s President and Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2013. Prior to taking this role, Richard worked for many years in the non-profit international development sector. Included in his work with non-profit agencies Richard established a highly successful microfinance institution in Kosovo and was also a founding director and chairman of Kosovo’s credit bureau and pledge filing office. Richard joined World Hope International in 2005 where he designed and implemented successful rehabilitation plans for two large microfinance institutions in West Africa, one in Liberia and the other in Sierra Leone. Richard also established a new microfinance institution in Indonesia and a loan fund for World Hope’s microfinance work around the world (the World Hope MicroCapital Fund). Richard has a M.A. from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Winnipeg.