01 February 2011, Dhaka. This month, Forbes profiled BRAC partner, VisionSpring, in an article titled, "New vision for non-profits." In it, VisionSpring Founder & CEO Jordan Kassalow discusses how the organization’s model has evolved and how he intends to make the organization increasingly self-sustaining. VisionSpring is a social enterprise dedicated to reducing poverty and generating opportunity in the developing world through the sale of affordable eyeglasses.
To become a self-sustaining organization that is independent of philanthropic dollars, VisionSpring partnered with BRAC in 2005 to begin scaling the sale of their eyeglasses through BRAC’s network of entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. In 2009, VisionSpring and BRAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally launch the scaling throughout BRAC’s network of Shastha Shebikas, or Community Health Workers.
Helen Coster of Forbes writes, “Kassalow figured BRAC's 80,000-strong sales force could help him scale up faster while saving money on training and administrative costs.” Since the beginning of this partnership, BRAC’s entrepreneurs have sold nearly 100,000 eyeglasses and have reduced the cost of the program to VisionSpring.
While this partnership cannot make VisionSpring’s model entirely self-sustaining on its own, the BRAC entrepreneurs have dramatically propelled the VisionSpring mission: getting affordable eyeglasses to those who need them to live fulfilling, productive lives.
To learn more about BRAC’s partnership with VisionSpring, click here to read the full article.