micro-enterpriseSome years ago I traveled to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. It was there that I met a woman by the name of Silvia. Before the earthquake, Silvia was living a meager existence with her son, David. She was only earning $2 a day, which is considered extreme poverty. After the natural disaster, Silvia and David lost everything; their home, and even the means to make any sort of living.

A Friend Provides a Hand-Up

Somehow a path opened up for Silvia. A friend of hers asked her to help her sell re-purposed shoes she received from North America. As you might know, Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Systemic poverty prevents most of its citizens from quality educational or economic opportunities.

Silvia jumped at the chance to work for her friend selling shoes in the community. She was desperate to prevent her son from having to leave school at an early age to help provide for the family. For years Silvia worked 6 or 7 days a week for long hours. Her solace was in seeing that David was doing well and thriving in school.

Silvia’s commitment to hard work paid off. In time, she was able to become a micro-entrepreneur herself. In developing nations, most businesses are micro-enterprises. In other words, they are small businesses with usually one or two people working the business. Most of the time businesses are run by family members or close friends.

Silvia started buying and selling shoes in her community. And, as a little more time passed as a micro-entrepreneur, she was able to hire other people and give them the hand-up that she was given years earlier by her friend. David graduated high school and continued his education to become a professional. He was the first in his family to get so far.

Micro-Enterprise Curriculum

Silvia is one of the reasons I developed a micro-enterprise curriculum that was professionally aligned by a certified educator to Common Core. I saw the commitment Silvia had to herself, her son and education and I realized that there was a lot that students in our own country could learn about micro-enterprise.

Funds2Orgs is the leading shoe drive fundraising social enterprise in North America. As a guy who’s been in the shoe business since I was a 15-year-old kid, you could say I have a passion for shoes. Because of my experiences as a father having to sell candy and cookie dough, and my interest in giving people in developing nations a hand-up rather than just a hand-out, my team and I’ve been able to work with thousands of schools, youth groups, sports teams and others.

One of the differentiators of my social enterprise is that we make things easy, fun and unique. We’re always looking to be the best and do things better than we did last week. In the conversations I had with educators, I came to understand that teachers spend a lot of time working on lesson plans to ensure their students get the best engagement possible as they’re doing their English, Math or Social Studies lessons.

That’s when it hit me. Why not develop a whole curriculum to help teachers, students and parents understand the “why” of a shoe drive fundraiser and micro-enterprise? And, that’s when the Funds2Orgs Micro-Enterprise Curriculum was created.

Many of the educators who’ve worked with us have enjoyed bringing the importance of micro-enterprise into the classroom with the assistance of a curriculum that is aligned to Common Core. The curriculum has helped educators make the connection between collecting gently worn, used and new shoes and small business in developing nations – all while helping students learn English, Math and Social Studies.

If you’re an educator or know of one who’s planning his or her material for the next semester, why not take a moment to see for free what the Funds2Orgs Micro-Enterprise Curriculum is all about? Just click here to download your free curriculum file for elementary, middle, high schools or homeschool.


Author of “Not Your Father’s Charity: DOMINATE in YOUR School Fundraising for Success, As Easy as A B C” (Free Digital Download)


© 2017 Wayne Elsey and Not Your Father’s Charity. All Rights Reserved.