The Adventure Project (TAP) is a nonprofit organization that “adds venture” capital to create jobs in developing countries.
CEO Becky Straw and co-founder Jody Landers launched TAP in 2010 with $4,000 and a bold vision. They believed that they could move people out of extreme poverty and save lives faster through the creation of jobs.
While working for charity:water, Becky had the opportunity to travel extensively in Sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti. She tells me her heart always spoke to sustainability. Though it was great to build things in the developing world, 36% of wells in Africa are broken. Becky knew the solution was to create jobs that provided social benefits.
A NY-based nonprofit, The Adventure Project empowers people to both help their own communities and better provide for themselves and their families. The organization works to harness entrepreneurial spirits and provide specialized support such as job training, tools, financial management skills and uniforms, helping create jobs around the world in the greatest areas of need.
The Adventure Project focuses on the four biggest issues affecting people living in poverty: the environment, health, hunger and water. The company provides funding as well as technical and operational support to its local partners.
The ways it works is fairly simple. Donors give money to fund The Adventure Project’s partners. As a donor, you can choose the cause you would like to support. You can also choose to give monthly support through “The Collective.” A recurring donation means you will create a job once / month and you’ll receive reports on the person you helped train, equip, and empower.
The Adventure Project provides the tools and training for men and women to learn how to sell live-saving products or services to their communities, earning commissions from every sale. From training well mechanics, who fix broken wells, to educating community health workers, who revolutionize healthcare in Africa, donor support transforms the lives of entrepreneurs and the communities they serve.
Each local partner is put through a rigorous vetting process before funding is awarded. The Adventure Project’s goal is for each project to be sustainable and able to roll out in other continents.
Since its launch over five years ago, The Adventure Project has created over 800 jobs, impacting over 1 million people in Haiti, India, Uganda and Kenya. According to the media kit, on average, every $1,500 raised creates one job in a developing country, and each job serves at least 500 people in the community. Becky says the goal is to create one million jobs and reach a half a billion people in the developing world in the next ten years.
On a personal note, I found a strong connection to The Adventure Project when talking with Becky over the phone. She and I have very similar visions when it comes to giving. If you’ve read my book Simple Giving, I’d say The Adventure Project is a great new approach to traditional philanthropy.
Each Friday, the another jennifer blog shares stories of those who incorporate philanthropy into their everyday lives – personally and professionally – in a creative and unique way. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact Jennifer.