Five Companies That Combat Poverty with Entrepreneurship

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SEATTLE — The world is at a high point when it comes to entrepreneurship. As a whole, entrepreneurial businesses are seeing higher profitability than ever and are becoming more accessible as well. Ample sources of startup funding have made entrepreneurial entry easier than ever. This, combined with e-commerce and social media access, creates an ideal climate for entrepreneurship.

For those struggling with poverty, this is good news. Entrepreneurship creates unique opportunities to combat poverty. Technology, infrastructure improvement and job creation are three common results of entrepreneurship. In reality, the possibilities for to combat poverty with entrepreneurship are endless. For these five companies, this is especially true.

Desalitech

Dr. Richard Stover, former executive vice president of Desalitech, has years of water experience. Dr. Stover developed the closed circuit reverse osmosis technology that Desalitech uses. The technology facilitates the conversion of salt water to drinking water. Desalitech works as an alternative to other outdated reverse osmosis technologies. The company provides unique water access at a cost that is low enough to be practical.

With this technology, the company has provided many global water solutions. Desalitech has increased access to and saved billions of gallons of water worldwide. Companies like Desalitech show the impact of entrepreneurial innovation on global poverty.

SimpliPhi Power

This company started as a provider of mobile power for the film industry; the entrepreneurial technology allowed filmmakers to be more versatile on set. With mobile power, technology had greater capabilities and fewer complications.

After its success in film, SimpliPhi Power branched out. The company has since provided power in several remote areas where it was previously inaccessible. For the institutions that receive power, like schools, this is essential to success. This access provides a clear improvement in the lives of those living in poverty. Like Desalitech, SimpliPhi’s innovation combats poverty with entrepreneurship.

Liberty and Justice

This entrepreneurial company focuses on ethical apparel manufacturing. The company acts as a way for clothing buyers to connect with ethical suppliers. By working to develop suppliers, Liberty and Justice provides companies with peace of mind.

That ethical peace of mind is well-earned. Liberty and Justice’s partners in Ghana and Liberia have a 90 percent female workforce. Besides this empowerment, the company has earned several ethical and innovative awards.

How does a company combat poverty with entrepreneurship? For Liberty and Justice, creating quality employment is key. By providing economic stimulation in poverty-stricken areas, this company makes a real difference.

Uncommon Cacao

This company has a focus similar to Liberty and Justice. Both companies combat poverty with entrepreneurship. But, rather than clothing, Uncommon Cacao focuses on ethical sourcing for cocoa.

Conditions for workers involved in the chocolate industry can be cruel. Poor wages and treatment used to be the norm before Uncommon Cacao. With an entrepreneurial spirit, this company’s founders set out to make a change. Uncommon Cacao works to end poverty in more than 100 project locations. By applying a unique approach to develop each farmer, this company fights poverty. In an industry where workers lacked ethics, the entrepreneurial spirit was well applied.

1mg

Indian health startup 1mg set out in the late 2000s to simplify healthcare. At the time, understanding drug alternatives was a complicated process. Many generic options were not actually saving Indian consumers money. Most of the time, consumers were not aware of this due to the overwhelming number of options.

To bridge this information gap, 1mg had a plan. The resources they provide, including an online pharmacy and lab locator, have helped Indian consumers. Information access increased and Indian consumers are better informed about healthcare spending.

By leveraging entrepreneurship, healthcare in India benefited from 1mg. Along with the others on this list that combat poverty with entrepreneurship, it is in good company.

– Robert Stephen

Photo: Flickr

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About Author

Robert Schacht

Robert writes for The Borgen Project from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has an academic background in marketing with a business focus and is the youngest of five!

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