Leading innovative teams to solve extreme poverty.
“We can solve poverty by collaborating with the poor themselves.”
David Masomo is a leader of social innovation and sustainable development. Born in eastern Congo and raised in abject poverty, Masomo is intimately familiar with the problems his homeland faces. During the Congo’s tumultuous wars, he witnessed the deaths of many friends and was himself forcibly abducted by a rebel group. “Nothing about my upbringing was certain,” he says. “There was nothing to inspire hope. Day by day we thought only about how to eat.”
Despite the horrific chaos of war and the grinding despair of poverty, Masomo was able to pursue a career in agricultural development, working for the Congolese government and the NGO sector. He studied internationally in India and South Korea, where he achieved a Master’s degree in Rural Development. He partnered with US military veteran Daniel Myatt to co-found Mavuno, which he leads as President and COO.
Besides his formidable skills in management and innovation, Masomo brings an abundance of passion for social change, a keen problem-solving aptitude, and an infectious enthusiasm that rallies people around him. He is also an accomplished musician and photographer. He lives in Beni, DRC with his wife and two children.
David is the co-founder and president of Mavuno, a social enterprise that develops local leaders to end extreme poverty in eastern Congo. Already acclaimed for its groundbreaking model and early results, Mavuno thrives under David’s leadership. “Everything we do starts with listening,” says David. “Whether in the village or with our local staff, listening is critical to our success.”
David Masomo leads an innovative team of Congolese and expatriate staff who are working to disrupt “business as usual” in eastern Congo’s NGO sector. “Everything that we do has to come from the villagers,” says Masomo. “So we have to fundamentally rethink the way we approach development.” Agile and lean leadership principles inform the organizational structure he has built.
A born entrepreneur, Masomo has spearheaded various pioneering initiatives throughout his career. He has led multinational teams in the development and prototyping of inclusive business models that add value to local communities while generating revenue. He has overseen the creation of a plantain flour product, distributed regionally as “Unga Ya Ndizi,” and a cocoa export enterprise.
“I believe market-based solutions are the key to sustainable development,” says Masomo. “That’s why I work with Congolese entrepreneurs.”