WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/92498

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Page 125 of 203

commerce retailing entrepreneurship keeping track business startups investments capital New Ways of Thinking Social Entrepreneurship Takes Flight at Babson and Beyond LISA LESLIE HENDERSON writer "we can dobetter for humanity." This conviction, combined with the belief that people can and will successfully meet their own challenges when given the opportunity, fueled the birth of Village Forward, a nonprofit that success- fully combines the efficiency of the marketplace with the social impact of philanthropy to deliver safe drinking water and economic opportunity to impoverished communities. "We believe that markets and charity alone can- not solve today's most pressing problems," explains Village Forward's founder, David Elliott. "Instead we try to blend the best of business with the best of philanthropy to create sustainable social change." Locally manufactured clay pots combined with effective sawdust-based filters, supplemented with small-scale franchises and charitable donations, are at the heart of Village Forward's success. Here's how it works: Funded by individuals, corporate donations, and a grant from the Rotary Foundation, Village Forward helps to identify and train entrepreneurs to manufacture and distribute low- cost water purifiers, or Aquasifs, in their surrounding communities. Using locally available clay and sawdust, these budding entrepreneurs manufacture the Aquasifs, which they then market and sell for $5 per unit, an affordable price for people at or below the poverty line, especially given the Aquasif's durability—six years or more to date. In addition, Village Forward provides entrepreneurs with ongoing technical and business training and short-term funding to help them build robust micro businesses. 124 A boy from a rural village outside of Nepalgunj, Nepal drinks from an Aquasif water filter in his family's home. WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013 COUR TESY OF VILLAGE FORWARD

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