Where Social Entrepreneurship, Human Capital, and Ingenuity Intersect: the LuminAID Story

written by CHRC
11 · 09 · 17

While attending the University of Chicago’s Business School (now Booth), I learned a lot about the key principles of capitalism, including the concept of human capital. As an alum, they have turned me onto one of the most interesting forms of organizations that I think exists: social enterprise.  I first heard the term social entrepreneurship at a U of C Management Conference in the early 2000s.  Then, at the Management Conference in 2010, I saw at presentation that perfectly demonstrated the power of what social entrepreneurship could do:  two students, moved by the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti, wanted to develop something to immediately improve the lives of women and children on that island. One issue that was not being addressed was their security at night. Using their unique talents honed before coming to Chicago, combined with the lab in social entrepreneurship, these students developed a solar powered light that would float, not sink, and hang easily in makeshift shelters.  I came home from that conference energized by what social entrepreneurship can accomplish.

LuminAID went into production, has several products, and starred on Shark Tank.

Given the impetus behind LuminAID’s founding, it’s not surprising that in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, and realizing that 70% of Puerto Rico was still without power,  LuminAID co-founders, Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta, decided to take action themselves.  Anna and Andrea filled a few suitcases with solar lights and chargers (a newer product) and flew to Puerto Rico to bring reusable power to over 300 homes. These solar chargers help charge phones even when there’s no electricity and the built-in lanterns bring light to homes at night.  Over 25,000 LuminAID solar lanterns and phone chargers have been sent to Puerto Rico.

So if you get as charged by the concept of social entrepreneurship, or are just looking for a way to help people in Puerto Rico, why not donate $10 to sponsor a light for Puerto Rico?  Or, spend $25 and get a solar light for yourself and sponsor one for hurricane relief as well.   Read More Here.

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