rethink social


In 2002, at the age of 18, Saul Garlick started a program to fight poverty by building schools in rural South Africa.

The time and effort spent on fund-raising for a nonprofit has left its founder debating whether it is worth it to change the group’s business model.

By 2004, his vision had broadened and he started an organization, Student Movement for Real Change, to encourage entrepreneurship in third world communities. Through this organization, he sent students to live with local families, hunt for water sources, farm alongside villagers and absorb the day-to-day nuances of life in a developing country with the goal of building social businesses along with the local residents.

Over the last two years, Mr. Garlick and his team have produced some 50 such “microenterprises” — including one that finances water projects in Kenya, one that sells charcoal and stoves in Rwanda and a cocoa nursery in…

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