What can we really accomplish?

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I was speaking with a colleague about the potential of tapping into IRAs and 401(k)s to help the poor, when I was asked what effect a few thousand dollars would have. Although I could calculate the impact of millions, it is important to boil these results down for the individual Social Entrepreneur. So, I set out to figure out how much money it would take from someone’s 401(k) to result in creating 401 jobs or businesses.


Using the Calvert Foundation Social Return on Investment (SROI) Calculator, which is a great tool, I found that an investment of $5,000.00 for a 3 year term could finance 205 microenterprises and create 428 jobs in various parts of the world. This was close enough.


Can you imagine – just $5,000 from your 401(k) for 3 years would create over 401 jobs or businesses. And, doing this while not foregoing any economic benefit, so your money is still growing. 401 people for just $5,000 investment (not a gift). Amazing! That’s what I call impact!

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