What is Micro-Enterprise?
Through companies like Zappos and Soles4Souls, we provide shoes to individuals from low-income communities to LAUNCH THEIR OWN SMALL BUSINESSES!
Your donated pairs are still going to children in developing countries, but now they can be sold at affordable prices.
How does it work?
We sort, organize and ship your pairs while our nonprofit partners offer entrepreneurial training to individuals from low-income villages and cities. Then our pairs are distributed to the micro-entrepreneurs as they are able to sell the shoes to their communities.
Small business owners across the globe can generate the income they need to lift themselves and their families out of poverty, and an entire community has access to affordable shoes.
Your shoe donations mean a constant supply of quality products. This ensures these fledgling businesses can be sustained long-term.
Without manufacturing costs, micro-enterprises promote economic growth by creating job opportunities where they don’t exist.
Who are we helping?
The environment: The micro-enterprise program has kept over 66 million pounds of textiles out of U.S. landfills, helping to preserve our planet for future generations.
“Give a person a fish, they eat for a day; teach a person to fish and they eat for a lifetime.”
Why choose Micro-Enterprise?
The foundation of the micro-enterprise model actually began quite personally. At Kicks4Keeps, we value empathy as the driving force for all of our actions. In fact, during my junior year of high school, my empathy led me to direct this nonprofit. However, one day as I introduced myself and my organization to my research program’s cohort, I was met with a scoff of disapproval. My professor’s “Ughh.” reverberated through the room. As he explained the harm of direct charity to foreign countries, a wave of shame washed over me.
My empathy was not enough.
Stunned after class, I practically inhaled information. Every click produced a new source of regret. Headlines of increased dependency, destruction of local enterprises, american-savior complexes, and the continuation of the poverty cycle permeated my search history. Thus I embarked on a knowledge journey in pursuit of comprehending how these negative effects could be mitigated. Understanding each motive resulted in greater knowledge of the magnitude of socioeconomic issues and with that a burning desire to help wherever possible.
With a new worldview, the trajectory of Kicks4Keeps changed forever. Now, instead of simply dumping pairs into destitute regions, we developed a system to distribute inventory to individuals from low-income communities, allowing them to launch their own small businesses. Without manufacturing costs, the micro-enterprise model generates supply to satisfy immense demand while creating job opportunities where they previously did not exist. Over 10,000 shoes later, a full year of food, shelter, and education has been provided to 7 families. Converting deeply-researched theory into tangible change allowed Kicks4Keeps to move onto better modes of aid, still utilizing empathy, but this time with the investigation to support it.