The VisionSpring Model: Creating Markets And Players Instead Of Empty CSR
Friday, October 5, 2012
Earlier this month, the Schwab Foundation announced its 2012 “class” of outstanding social entrepreneurs. Among them was Dr. Jordan Kassalow, the founder of an organization called VisionSpring that works to ensure that everyone in the developing world has access to eyeglasses. Part of the VisionSpring strategy is to equip local people – identified as Vision Entrepreneurs – with the tools they need to create businesses that generate jobs while addressing an important health need.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Kassalow’s organization was the breeding ground for another disrupter in the world of optics, Neil Blumenthal. Blumenthal, who started his career with VisionSpring, is the co-founder of Warby Parker. You may have heard of the company. After all, it’s the talk of both the fashion and business worlds: a company proving that hip eyewear can be affordable and can change the world for the better. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker funds the production of a pair of eyeglasses for VisionSpring, which VisionSpring in turn sells either directly to Base of the Pyramid (BoP) consumers or to vision entrepreneurs.