Our “Add-Venture:” The Adventure Project’s Mission to Provide Jobs & Dignity to Entrepreneurs
The Adventure Project believes we can alleviate extreme poverty, preventable deaths, and create jobs (what people want) by rallying behind the most-effective social enterprises, and help them scale. Currently only 13% of social enterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa are operating at scale.
Three years ago, Co-Founders, Becky Straw and Jody Landers met in an unlikely place; in the back of a van in Liberia, West Africa. During the long car ride, a unique friendship formed around a shared topic, “What’s the most effective way to end poverty?”
For Becky, who has a Masters in Social Enterprise and was working for a charity in Africa and Haiti, she was burdened by one recurring request. In every village council meeting someone would ask her, “Thank you for your gift, but is your nonprofit hiring? Because I really want to work.”
For Jody, her passion was deeply personal. Her and her husband adopted their two youngest children, twins, from Sierra Leone, after their mother died in childbirth. Jody and Becky aligned under the ethos that we can alleviate extreme poverty, preventable deaths, and create jobs (what people want) by rallying behind the most-effective social enterprises, and help them scale.
A recent study in Sub-Saharan Africa found that of 439 promising social enterprises, only 13% were operating at scale. They need patient, philanthropic capital to fill the “pioneer gap,” a time when social enterprises have a viable business, but need additional funds to scale. In Oct. 2010 we launched, The Adventure Project, named because we “add venture” capital to support entrepreneurs.
How we work:
1. Find Exceptional Enterprises. We support enterprises that train micro-entrepreneurs. The micro-entrepreneurs sell essential products and services to their local communities (such as affordable medicine), while earning commission for every sale.
2. Inspire Giving. Through compelling video, stories and an online platform, we inspire ordinary Americans to give. For as little as $10, donors can select which enterprise to support, and receive timely updates on the impact.
3. Provide Great Metrics. We believe donors deserve great “returns” on their social investments, and we strive to create jobs that provide maximum impact in the health, hunger, water and environment sectors.
Thanks to three volunteer staff, nine interns and over 2,500 donors, we have raised nearly $400,000 in our first 18 months. We’ve been honored to be featured in over 20 media posts, including Fast Company, Forbes, and even a blog post by Bill Gates in the Huffington Post.
146 women are becoming community health promoters in Uganda, selling essential medicine at affordable prices to 102,200 people. 136 men and women will become well mechanics in India, bringing sustainable access to clean water to 622,386 villagers. 17 charcoal-efficient stove vendors working in Haiti, serving 24,930 people. 5 irrigation pump saleswomen have been hired in Kenya, helping 3,600 people. So far, we have helped create jobs for 304 micro-entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs will go on to serve 735,000 people in their communities to better health care, food and water. Our goal is to create one million jobs in in the next ten years.
More About This Charity
Best New Charity, Disaster Relief and International Aid
The Adventure Project
The Adventure Project is a nonprofit ‘adding venture’ to support social entrepreneurs in developing countries.
- This Achievement raised $386,400
- This charity raised $224,700 in the past year
- This Achievement helped 735,000 people
- This charity helped 700,000 people in the past year
- 304 jobs created for micro-entrepreneurs, who will serve 735,000 people to better health, food and water
India, Haiti, Kenya and Uganda