People often do not know where to start when looking to help the world’s poor. One of the best ways to help is to use one’s purchasing power to support businesses whose mission is to also help those in poverty.
TOMS Shoes has a wonderful business plan: for every one pair of shoes that is purchased, one pair of shoes is given to a person in need. But they are not the only company that is dedicated to helping people out of poverty through their business plan.
The five businesses listed below are not a comprehensive list of dedicated companies by any means, but they are committed to using their products and platform to help those in poverty around the world with the most basic needs, specifically water, health and education.
Three Avocados donates their profits to help provide clean water in Uganda and education initiatives in Nicaragua. The organization grows coffee bean in both countries. The Three Avocados website reports over 20,000 people in Uganda have been impacted by the company’s involvement in providing clean water. Consumers are able to buy sustainable coffee beans while helping people who need clean water and better education.
World Crafts operates in several countries around the globe empowering the artisans through fair trade initiatives. A number of the artisans are women who produce their goods as a means to raise their family out of poverty, such as the Miao women of China. Through embroidering beautiful designs onto various bags and such, the women are given the chance to raise their economic status and send their children to secondary school.
Hand in Hand
Hand in Hand creates artisan soaps that have a one to one donation ratio, which means that buying one bar of soap allows the company to donate one bar of soap and a month of clean water to people in Haiti. Clean water and proper hygiene through the use of the soap will, in part, help cut down on diseases in the area. The company is also committed to sustainable and environmentally safe ingredients for their soaps.
Ornaments 4 Orphans
Ornaments 4 Orphans operates on several levels. First, ornaments are created in areas stricken with poverty to boost the economy, and second, the proceeds from selling the ornaments are used to help children in need. Orphans in areas of poverty are prone to illness, sexual exploitation and lack of education. By using the proceeds to help orphans, the children are given a chance to create a brighter future than they might have had otherwise.
Starbucks and Oprah Chai
Starbucks offers a drink called the Oprah Chai. A portion of the money earned whenever a drink is purchased will go directly to Oprah Winfrey’s charity, the Leadership Academy Foundation. The foundation pledges to bring education opportunities, especially opportunities for higher education, to girls in South Africa.
While buying from these companies will directly help individuals in need, more can and should be done. Purchasing these products, as well as items from other responsible companies, will help raise awareness for the efforts needed to help people out of poverty. Consider using birthdays, graduations and other holiday events to make an impact in someone else’s life.
The list above barely touches the scope of companies that are doing good on the global scale. For even more ideas, check out Shop With Meaning to find other companies dedicated to helping those in poverty around the world.
– Megan Ivy