people powered global development

Headquartered in Washington, DC, ThinkImpact is a global social enterprise that provides university students and young professionals the Innovation Institute, America’s premier immersion program in rural Africa that trains the next generation of social entrepreneurs.
The Innovation Institute is a curriculum based summer immersion program lasting 10 weeks (June through August), and offered on a competitive basis to select scholars from across the United States. Teams of 12 scholars led by 2 advisors are sent to live and work in rural villages in Kenya and South Africa where ThinkImpact has established relationships … (full text Mission and Model).

Where; Application; Careers; Team; Foundation; Innovation Institute; Scholars Program; Events; FAQs;
Address: ThinkImpact, 1755 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA;

History: ThinkImpact was developed after a non-profit of the same name sold the rights of the Innovation Institute to ThinkImpact, the social enterprise.

The company was founded to become a true social enterprise, which is core to our philosophy, and to increase our impact. Using business as a vehicle through which to implement the Institute allows ThinkImpact to reach more people and provide a more enriching experience for the scholar and the community.

Saul Garlick, President and CEO, founded ThinkImpact under a different name and form in 2001. Originally a non-profit that implemented traditional development work, ThinkImpact has evolved over the years to become a company that believes in social business as a sustainable solution to development, poverty alleviation and social challenges.

Over the years, ThinkImpact brought American students to rural Africa to live and work with community members. And while the philosophy and mission have changed and grown, ThinkImpact has consistently undertaken full-immersion experiences that result in the creation of strong relationships between local community members and ThinkImpact participants.

No matter the task at hand – building a school, conducting health education workshops, repairing latrines or creating social businesses – ThinkImpact has always believed in the incredible power that comes from fusing cultures and ideas.

The promise for social and economic value creation at the base of the pyramid is infinite, and while traditional development projects can provide important benefits to society, our effectiveness is maximized through providing support, loans, capacity and ideas for social businesses among the rural poor.

ThinkImpact has sent 96 American students and young professionals to rural South Africa and Kenya through the Innovation Institute. Alumni have become true social entrepreneurs, returning to Africa to work on the development of a social business together with local community partners. Others have gone on to win Fulbright, Truman and Rhodes scholarships and to secure jobs with the world’s leading institutions and companies.

Ultimately, ThinkImpact aims to build a movement of Americans and Africans who understand the potential of social entrepreneurship to transform society and provide innovative, sustainable solutions to today’s most pressing social challenges.

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