VisionSpring is a Social Enterprise Selling Eyeglasses to Developing Countries

 - Oct 25, 2010
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VisionSpring is a social enterprise that aims to provide eye care and eyeglasses to people in developing countries that might not otherwise have access. According to the VisionSpring website, 773 million people around the world suffer from vision loss and 563 million of those people can have restored vision with the help of eyeglasses.

In the field of development, vision care is sometimes put on the back burner to more critical issues like famine and disease. However, according to a study by AMD Alliance International, the cost of vision loss on the global economy in 2010 is $3 trillion. The costs included in this study range from lost productivity to caregiver costs. If people are able to see more clearly, they have a better chance at effectively working, learning and earning an income for themselves and their families. VisionSpring states that each pair of eyeglasses (around $4 dollars each) increases a person’s productivity by an astounding 35 percent. What’s more, individuals earn an extra $381 on average over two years. It’s clear that healthy eyesight is essential to communities around the world.

Since VisionSpring is a social enterprise, it is able to utilize both business models and charity sensibilities in order to ensure that supply meets demand. Rather than giving away free glasses, VisionSpring sells them in order to empower the poor as consumers, as well as create an income for the social entrepreneurs that it supports through a program called Vision Entrepreneur. Vision Entrepreneurs are able to sell their own eyeglasses to their communities, with the help of a "Business in a Bag," which is a microfranchise sales kit that ensures success on the sales market.

Currently operating in Bangladesh, El Salvador, India, Indonesia and South Africa, VisionSpring impacts individuals all around the globe. Access to comprehensive eye care is a step toward building self-sufficient communities—and VisionSpring is there to make sure it happens.

Contact Information:
VisionSpring Website
322 Eighth Avenue Suite 12A-02
New York, NY 10001
Telephone: +1 212 375 2599