OUR HISTORY

Our company name, Kaizen, is a Japanese concept meaning "ongoing improvement at all levels, at all times."

Since 2004, Kaizen has built a culture of continuous change for the better through innovative approaches and relentless hard work. Growing from a small shop to a robust, award-winning company has been an ongoing journey, one emboldened by our interdisciplinary approach and vision for the future. And we’re only just getting started...

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2004

Kaizen was founded as a social enterprise by Andrew Kaiser on the belief that advances in information and communications technologies (ICT) would make it increasingly possible to support local reformers well beyond any given donor activity, without requiring additional funding.

2005

Kaizen receives first contract: subcontract to Chemonics International on the USAID Indonesia Trade Assistance Project (ITAP).

2006

Kaizen is awarded large subcontracts to continue ground-breaking government institutional strengthening work in Jordan and Iraq.

2007

Kaizen expands service offerings from institutional strengthening to also offer peer-to-peer communities of practice (aka ‘Professional Communities’), supporting local reformers to learn from and support one another, determine their own priorities and needs, and work together to achieve them.

2008/9

Kaizen Partners Amy Watve, Lisa Letke, and Dr. Kevin Wheeler join Kaizen, infusing their backgrounds in private sector management consulting and international development (McKinsey & Company, AECOM, and Boston Consulting Group).

2011

Kaizen wins first prime award: the USAID Egypt ALROWAD Program, providing technical and managerial support in the development of a network of more than 30 Communities of Practice in Egypt.

2013

Kaizen’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship practice area is born: Kaizen begins seeking new opportunities to pilot new and innovate ways to leverage market forces to achieve global development objectives. Begins regular ‘Monster Jam’ events to pitch and vet innovative development business models with the potential to scale through markets.

2014

Kevin Wheeler becomes Kaizen’s Managing Director. Kaizen wins five prime awards with USAID and the US State Department and more than doubles number of employees between 2014-2015.

2016

Kaizen is named to Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc 5000’ of fastest growing companies in America.

2017

Kaizen is named a finalist in Fast Company Magazine’s Global World Changing Ideas competition in the ‘Food’ category for the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) project; Kaizen is named ‘Small Business of the Year’ by USAID; Kaizen is named for the second year to Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc 5000’ of fastest growing companies in America.

Hover over years to view our milestone achievements!

  • 2004

    Kaizen was founded as a social enterprise by Andrew Kaiser on the belief that advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) would make it increasingly possible to support local reformers well beyond any given donor activity, without requiring additional funding.  

  • 2005

    Kaizen receives first contract: subcontract to Chemonics International on the USAID Indonesia Trade Assistance Project (ITAP).

  • 2006

    Kaizen is awarded large subcontracts to continue ground-breaking government institutional strengthening work in Jordan and Iraq.

  • 2007

    Kaizen expands service offerings from institutional strengthening to also offer peer-to-peer communities of practice (aka ‘Professional Communities’), supporting local reformers to learn from and support one another, determine their own priorities and needs, and work together to achieve them.

  • 2008-2009

    Kaizen Partners Amy Watve, Lisa Letke, and Dr. Kevin Wheeler join Kaizen, infusing their backgrounds in private sector management consulting and international development (McKinsey & Company, AECOM, and Boston Consulting Group).

  • 2011

    Kaizen wins first prime award: the USAID Egypt ALROWAD Program, providing technical and managerial support in the development of a network of more than 30 Communities of Practice in Egypt.

  • 2013

    Kaizen’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship practice area is born: Kaizen begins seeking opportunities to pilot new and innovate ways to leverage market forces to achieve global development objectives. The team begins regular ‘Monster Jam’ events to pitch and vet innovative development business models with the potential to scale through markets.

  • 2014

    Kevin Wheeler becomes Kaizen’s Managing Director. Kaizen wins five prime awards with USAID and the US State Department and more than doubles number of employees between 2014-2015.

  • 2016

    Kaizen is named to Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc 5000’ of fastest growing companies in America.

  • 2017

    Kaizen is named a finalist in Fast Company Magazine’s Global World Changing Ideas competition in the ‘Food’ category for the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) project; Kaizen is named ‘Small Business of the Year’ by USAID; Kaizen is named for the second year to Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc 5000’ of fastest growing companies in America.