Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Our company makes a difference: by choosing a product easy to make, has a market and also has the potential to benefit the community (healthcare benefits of teaching hand washing with our soap to kids) we have enabled very poor, otherwise "unemployable" women to become productive and gain a place in the community aside from housekeepers. They now earn a steady income: this means they can invest steadily in better food, school supplies, school fees and health. They can build a better bathroom and add to their makeshift houses.By placing the factory in the community we avoid commutes and costs associated (time & money), eliminating a strong barrier for the women to work. The women are now free to work and reap the benefits of their labor.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Our company is already having a strong impact. The 4 women we are incorporating to the company are learning a trade: soap making. They are also learning about teamwork, work ethic and entrepreneurship. Neida, Martha, Jocy and Mindry, some of the poorest woman I know, will for the first time have an income to feed their kids 3 times a day. By placing the factory in the community, we have created many indirect jobs (including the husbands of some of the women) in construction, transport, welding, etc. The women have a company now they belong to and can be proud of. Finally, people of the community, (called Las Malvinas II), are approaching us with new business ideas and getting excited about co-investing with us.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Esperanza has enormous potential: the handmade soap market is growing in the United States and high end purchases in the DR is growing rapidly also. Tourism to the DR (tourists mainly from the US, Canada and Europe - our main customer segment on the island) is expected to double in the next 10 years. Also, Esperanza Soaps was created under Upward Ventures (upward-ventures.org), a social business incubator (by the same founders of Esperanza) with the mission to raise a generation of social entrepreneurs that will use business to eradicate extreme poverty. We want to create hundreds of companies