In developing countries, many community empowerment efforts, which consist mainly of building the community’s capability to fulfill its needs, failed to achieve the desired results. Counter-intuitively, sometimes the dependence to external agents grew even stronger. The paper is a preliminary attempt in elaborating factors that contribute to the success of empowerment process using system dynamics modeling. The case study is a poor village in Indonesia which received an infrastructure aid from a UN-agent in the form of Microhydro Plant to be managed for improving the community welfare. The model shows that empowerment is a feedback process influenced by many factors, and that capacity building to manage the plant is a learning process to be gone through by the community itself. Nonetheless, once this capability is achieved, the resulted capacity and awareness play significant role to improve the community’s life quality. This model is expected to evoke other efforts to build a more comprehensive understanding of community empowerment process, and hopefully will encourage the local government to try new approaches for higher rate of successful implementation.