Can the Greater Impact Foundation Alleviate Poverty?

 Drishtee Rural Apparel Seamstresses

Drishtee Rural Apparel Seamstresses

No, but we can help.

GIF supports for-profit enterprises social impact enterprises that can demonstrate a pathway to sustainability and the potential to scale. For us, it is mandatory that interested organizations can demonstrate that they are well on their way to that objective. That way, when they do scale, we know that long after they reach a sustainable state, after we are long gone, the impact of our investment will carry on.  In this way, the Greater Impact Foundation can help set the stage to reduce poverty.  Yet, a conundrum remains. Even the enterprises we support face the very real issue that while they are endeavoring to reduce poverty, it is not completely in their control.

 At the ground level, increasing incomes of the poor is a big step.  But, it is what the poor do with their income that matters most.  It may sound unfair, but the truth is telling.  What an impoverished mother does with extra income is vastly different from what the father may do.  

 Young Thai Malabri

Young Thai Malabri

Not to paint men with a broad brush (I am one as, you know), but history bears out that often, when in control of the money, it gets spent on less than critical items.  Mothers do not prevaricate. When they are in control, the money gets spent on their children for health care, nutrition, education and the like.  Men, less so.  Frequently, we see expenditures on motorbikes, alcohol, gambling and stuff to put in the proverbial man cave.  I could certainly argue that motorbikes can help tremendously.  Most often they do.  But, we all know that spending on vices (or toys), even if they seem relatively harmless, when there are more vital needs, is painful to observe.  This is magnified for those at the bottom of the pyramid where man caves are an alien idea and toys, generally absent.  Again, no broad brush intended, but frivolous spending is not uncommon.  So, even for the enterprises that are providing a pathway out of poverty there is no sure thing, unless the income goes directly in to a mother’s hands.  That is what GIF would prefer to do.

 RangSutra women near Mizrapur

RangSutra women near Mizrapur

The GIF portfolio continues to evolve. We are very interested in micro-infrastructure enterprises, proprietary consumer products organizations and robust sales and distribution models that provide linkage to markets. We do engage with other organizations depending upon their business model, but we remain focused on sustainable, scalable, measurable enterprises with the talent and methodology to thrive in challenging market conditions. And, foremost, we would love to work with enterprises in these areas that are able to employ women.  It is a great hedge on those things that are out of our control and out of our enterprise partners’ control.