Can Funding Entrepreneurs in the Developing World Create 1 Million Jobs?
Friday, May 25, 2012
Big Idea: The Adventure Project is an alternative funding organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries, with the goal to produce one million jobs within the next ten years.
Why It’s Working: With a series of ambitious projects ranging from healthcare to hunger, the Adventure Project provides funding to entrepreneurs in multiple countries. These localized initiatives bring about real change in both the local economy and the quality of life in areas that are desperate for solutions.
When Jody Landers and Becky Straw crossed paths while traveling through Liberia, they bonded over aiding developing countries. And from that mutual passion, the two women pooled resources and began their own startup.
“We wanted to make it accessible for anyone to create jobs in developing countries and see their impact,” Straw says.
The two women co-founded the Adventure Project, a 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on providing funding to entrepreneurs engaging in initiatives that would also benefit the developing community’s economy and conditions. The overall goal for the company, Straw says, is to develop one million jobs within the next ten years. The Adventure Project reaches toward this goal by utilizing four pillars of funding, each with a different set of objectives and goals: environment, water, hunger and health. In order to jumpstart the funding, which takes place through microinvestments distributed by the organization, Straw says she invested $4,000 of her own money and then she and Landers sold boxes of charcoal at Christmastime to benefit their first project in Haiti. Since then, the Adventure Project has been operating with a small budget and plenty of networking.