Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime. That’s the philosophy behind The Paradigm Project‘s “Profit for the Poor” program, which redefines the idea of philanthropy – instead of applying philanthropic dollars to the needs of the poor, their model invites and engages investors and donors in a collaborative effort to create social enterprises that result in positive effects on impoverished communities and a positive financial return on invested dollars over time. This way, it gets around the needs of traditional philanthropic models which require donors to continuously contribute financial resources to a cause.
The first project they’re engaged in is installing fuel-efficient cookstoves in Kenya. The Paradigm Project has committed to installing five million cookstoves, as well as the business infrastructure to support the sale of the stoves, fuel, repair and maintenance, etc. To date, they’ve installed more than 13,000 and counting.
Founded by Neil Bellefeuille and Greg Spencer, The Paradigm Project has been recently recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for their innovative new concept in creating sustainable economic, social and environmental value within developing world communities.
Check out the following infographic, which demonstrates how this model can increase the income, health, time value and jobs for the local community, while decreasing CO2 inhalation, trees used and time spent looking for fuel. In addition, this model also creates profit for those who invest in the project by cleverly selling the carbon offsets back to major corporations.