In college I learned about the genocide that was going on in Darfur where 300,000 have been killed and over almost 3 million people have been displaced. What sank in was that you are I are helpless in feeling like we can make a difference. The problems are so big and the actions we can take often feel futile. That is not acceptable.
Through grad school, volunteering abroad, and finally working for a socially driven company in Uganda I saw firsthand many of the problems that stand in the way of you being able to impact the world better through your purchases. In short, products are TOO EXPENSIVE and the impact models most companies use SOUND GREAT ON PAPER but they often don’t work out to well for the very people we want to help.
And so I set out to create a better solution for YOU!
Making a quality product in Africa is not easy (go figure). Yet we did it. Relationships are everything. I met our manufacturer (Mr. Roy) in Uganda over 3 years ago. He started his own factory with his life savings making 5 shoes a day and now has over 50 employees with a tannery. More importantly he is well respected in the community and has key relationships with suppliers in India where he was born. The end result is an incredible product at an affordable price because price ALWAYS MATTERS.
In Africa you see many difficult sides of life that growing up in America you are shielded from. Yet I didn’t expect this…
One morning in Uganda I was walking to work and Elijah, a teenage boy, approached me. Elijah wanted me to come build a school in his village even though I have never worked or volunteered for an organization that built schools. What was so heart breaking was that here was a boy who has his whole life ahead of him yet I could see in his eyes that he was conditioned to believe that he will never amount to anything if people like me “help” him.
Charity is important and we need to give but it is very difficult to set up an organization to give away free stuff without creating a culture of dependency and sucking away the ambition that kids like Elijah would otherwise have.
Therefore, at Venture we have revolutionary IMPACT MODEL that no other company has ever tried. We don’t do charity. Instead we invest 100% of the profit back into businesses in Uganda. We cover our costs and invest everything that is left over back into local businesses.
This model creates zero dependency because there is no charity involved. Instead we focus on creating exactly what Uganda needs. JOBS.
Additionally, since we invest we expect the money to come back to us if we create successful businesses in Uganda. This keeps our costs low when investments are profitable but this is also great for the local community because we can put far more resources into the local economy than under a giveback model.It has been a long journey thus far but we are really just getting going. Our goal is always to bring to you the connection that you want to impacting that lives of others. Venture exists because you do care about the poor. The hungry. The marginalized. And we will do our best to help you act on that desire with everything that we do.
Thank you for being part of the journey.
James Crawford - Founder & Owner