Social Enterprise + Innovation = LifeStraw®; Drawing Closer to the Clean Water Access Millennial Development Goal 0f 2015

We operate under our own unique Humanitarian Entrepreneurship business model. This “profit for a purpose” approach has turned corporate social responsibility into our core business of creating life-saving products for the most vulnerable. The LifeStraw® Concept The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) call for a reduction of the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by half between 1990 and 2015. Yet, an estimated 884 million people in the world, 37% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa, still use unimproved sources of drinking water.  Treating water at the household level or other point of use also reduces the … Continue reading Social Enterprise + Innovation = LifeStraw®; Drawing Closer to the Clean Water Access Millennial Development Goal 0f 2015

Social Enterprise + Propane = Reaching More Children with Immunizations in Mozambique

Propane+Mozambique=Immunization The challenge: In Mozambique, one of the poorest countries in the world, children are dying “because they live in the wrong place, and that’s unacceptable.” People must walk 20 kilometers for vaccines and medicines. Problem: Vaccines are a temperature-sensitive commodity – but there were no reliable sources of energy for clinic refrigerators, lights or sterilizers Solution: Propane New problem: No propane in Mozambique New solution (2001): VidaGas, a for-profit propane distribution company (imports gas, bottles it, sells it to commercial and residential users) Within five years: 5 million people reached through 251 clinics.  In 2001, only one in three people were immunized – by 2006, there were … Continue reading Social Enterprise + Propane = Reaching More Children with Immunizations in Mozambique

G.R.O. – Grows businesses in Lesotho, South Africa

Micro-credit+ In the spring of 2008, as an extension of the G.R.O. Lesotho education programs , G.R.O. launched two start-up social-enterprise businesses.  Rather than focusing on micro-credit, G.R.O. focused on locating existing but struggling local entrepreneurial projects (two small women’s collectives) and providing targeted capital infusions for business start-up, early stock and overhead costs as well as market access.  By having G.R.O. personnel ‘on the ground’ in Lesotho, we’ve been able to facilitate connections to international markets, ensure the separate enterprises were supporting each other, and ensure our supporters funds were used directly on programs and in a targeted way to … Continue reading G.R.O. – Grows businesses in Lesotho, South Africa

VisionSpring’s Product+Innovation+Delivery=Impact

VisionSpring empowers entrepreneurs to provide low cost glasses » Empowering Entrepreneurs with Rewarding Jobs VisionSpring has empowered thousands of entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses selling health products their community needs. Our Vision Entrepreneurs earn a living and provide a valuable service to their communities. Many of our Vision Entrepreneurs are women for whom employment opportunities have traditionally been limited. VisionSpring provides them an opportunity to become independent and self-assured business owners. In collaboration with the University of Michigan, VisionSpring performed a rigorous impact assessment, which demonstrated that using our eyeglasses results in an average increase in productivity of 35%, meaning … Continue reading VisionSpring’s Product+Innovation+Delivery=Impact