Jordan Kassalow, the founder and CEO of VisionSpring, was recently named as one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs worldwide. VisionSpring was founded in 2001 to provide high-quality, low-cost optical goods and care to low-income communities. Since its inception, the organization has provided optical products and services to over 900,000 customers. VisionSpring channels reading and persecription glasses to children and adults. A study by the University of Michigan found that VisionSpring’s inititiatives in India helped increase productivity by 35% and income by 20%.
Dr. Jordan Kassalow and VisionSpring on Global List of 30 Top Social Enterprises
NEW YORK, Dec. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Dr. Jordan Kassalow, practicing Optometrist and Founder & CEO of VisionSpring, was recently listed by Forbes Magazine as one of the top 30 social entrepreneurs in the world today. In its December 19th issue, the esteemed American business magazine for the first time in its 94 year history assembled a list of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. A social entrepreneur, as defined by Forbes, is a person who uses business to solve social issues. Dr. Kassalow is among an impressive group of honorees including Jacqueline Novagratz, Founder & CEO of Acumen Fund, Wendy Kopp’s Teach For America, and Scott Harrison, Founder of charity: water.
“It is a true honor to have VisionSpring recognized by Forbes Magazine as a top 30 social enterprise. We will continue to work hard to drive impact and ensure that the working poor and children in the developing world can realize their full potential,” said Dr. Jordan Kassalow.
Founded in 2001 by Dr. Jordan Kassalow, VisionSpring addresses a critical need by providing access to high-quality optical goods and services to those living in hard to reach, low-income communities. VisionSpring’s mission is to ensure that everyone in the developing world has access to eyeglasses. VisionSpring has harnessed market forces in order to transform the base of the pyramid consumer base into a viable market by utilizing an innovative high-volume and low-margin approach. The University of Michigan conducted a rigorous three-year impact assessment on VisionSpring’s reading glasses intervention in India. The study established that customers of VisionSpring experience a 35% increase in productivity and 20% increase in monthly income.
About the Forbes Impact 30 List
Forbes’ list was compiled by a formidable panel of experts, featuring Anthony Bugg-Levine, Chief Executive of the Nonprofit Finance Fund and Ashoka Founder and Chief Executive Bill Drayton, among others. Social pioneers were chosen across health, finance, education and additional sectors.
The full list of honorees and related story is available now online at: http://www.forbes.com/impact-30/lander.html
VisionSpring has been internationally recognized by the Skoll Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and the World Bank. Dr. Kassalow is a three-time winner of Fast-Company’s Social Capitalist Award and the inaugural winner of the John P. McNulty Prize. VisionSpring’s work was also highlighted at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting in 2009. VisionSpring has grown into a globally recognized social enterprise that has reached more than 920,000 individuals with reading and prescription glasses, restoring vision to the working poor and school aged children in the developing world.
For more information, visit www.visionspring.org .