After nearly 20 years of developing social enterprises, our work and our strategy have evolved to encompass so much more than what we ever had envisioned when NESsT started. At the time, there was philanthropy and there was business, but very few people had the guts to try to combine both. NESsT was founded to champion social enterprises and prove that the model works. And it did!
Communities are now embracing businesses as a means to help solve critical social problems. Investors have recognized the value of brilliant entrepreneurs who combine smart ideas for social change with sustainable business practices.
Today, we turn our sights to an even loftier goal . . .
We are committing to providing jobs and income to lift 50,000 people out of poverty in the next five years so that they too have opportunities for dignified lives.
Our years of work with social enterprises have shown us that they provide a unique means to empower entire communities with access to livelihoods and hope for a better future.
Traditional businesses just aren't getting the job done when it comes to offering dignified livelihoods to everyone.
The UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development identifies decent work and inclusive employment as a crucial element to end global poverty. Underserved individuals face multiple workforce barriers, including under-education, limited skills-training opportunities and labor discrimination. Even when jobs are created, these individuals are not qualified to fill them.
This means working with social enterprises that provide small producers with access to tangible technology to improve the quality of their products and services and at-risk youth and women with access to training to improve their skills and labor force readiness. It also means committing to enterprises that focus on the "dignity" side of employment by offering fair wages and prices, as well as ensuring they are protecting the environment.
To reflect our new future, NESsT is also unveiling a new logo and look for our brand.
While the nest that served as our logo for all these years reflected the early days of social enterprise, the new NESsT logo was designed to express the growth and freedom to achieve a better future that we hope all will be able to experience in our communities.
We're excited to embark on this new direction at NESsT. We thank everyone who has supported us for nearly two decades, and we invite you to join us in the new phase of our quest to bring better futures to the people in emerging market countries.