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Crowdfunding Takes On Hunger, Health And Human Rights

Kickstarter meets Kiva meets TOMS: That’s the idea behind a soon-to-be launched social enterprise and crowdfunding web site by the name of Reciprocity & Co. The basic concept is this: Founded by Gainsville, Fla.-based Sam McPherson, the site promotes projects aimed at addressing major areas of need, like health or human rights abuses. But the way it happens is consumers buy an organic cotton tote bag or backpack for $25, and $5 from those revenues goes to help an organization involved with one of those projects. Example: the Alaska Sudan Medical Project, which is trying to build a school in South Sudan able to supply 400 children with clean drinking water. McPherson started toying with his idea when he was an undergraduate at Pace University, studying entrepreneurship. During his studies–he graduated in 2009–he went on several trips to help repair schools in Guatemala and there he got the germ of the concept. Originally, he envisioned a one-for-one kind of an ecommerce model, whereby, for every customer who bought a backpack through his web site, the company would donate a backpack filled with supplies to a school. McPherson still had that vision in mind when he enrolled in the Hough Graduate School of Business at the University of Florida to […]

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