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On the Brink with Andi Simon

Jul 30, 2018

Listen now as Theresa Carrington shares how she helps shift artisans from poverty to prosperity!

Once in a while, I get to interview someone who is not only doing great things in the business world but also in the human world. That would be Theresa Carrington, founder of the non-profit Ten By Three (formerly The Blessing Basket Project), a social entrepreneurship program that is both profitable and a way out of poverty for thousands around the world. Ending poverty sustainably is something even the World Bank has not been able to solve, but Theresa is well on her way to doing just that. If you want to smile while hearing an amazing startup story, listen in.

Theresa Carrington is changing the world, having discovered the tipping point from poverty to prosperity

What started as one woman’s vision to create a sustainable solution to reduce poverty in developing countries evolved into Ten By Three, the first and only non-profit to win the Olin Cup business competition at Washington University in St. Louis. Over the last decade, Theresa's startup has been discovering and perfecting unique approaches to sustainable poverty reduction, helping create sustainable prosperity for more than 10,000 people in just 10 years.

Igniting entrepreneurial spirit by providing  a launching pad 

10 by 4Ten By Three’s patent-pending financial model enables artisans to earn Prosperity Wages (which are significantly higher than fair trade wages) for their products. In some instances, the difference in wages could be as much as $11 for a basket. In this model, artisans are paid directly, eliminating the middleman, and are required to start businesses funded by earnings from their basket sales. It is those entrepreneurial ventures that empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.

Helping artisans become entrepreneurs

10 by 3Through Ten By Three’s other model,  Graduate from Povertyartisans will “tip” from poverty to prosperity in about three years. The organization knows that artisans are ready to graduate when they spend more time running their businesses than weaving. On graduation day, each artisan stands before their family, their village and their village leaders to declare publicly that they are free of poverty and ready to stand on their own two feet as an independent business owner. During this empowering ceremony, each graduate receives a badge and a graduation certificate which are often used to prove their business savvy to local banks and micro-lending programs which provide the funding that their businesses will need to grow.

About Theresa Carrington

Theresa CarringtonInnovator. Humanitarian. Thought leader. Unlikely change agent. Theresa Carrington is Founder of Ten By Three and inventor of the Prosperity Wages and Graduate from Poverty models which have proven to end poverty and fuel entrepreneurship in developing economies. Theresa also invented Artisan&You, the world’s largest artisan engagement technology. Recognized by the United Nations and BMW, her models and patent-pending technology have empowered thousands of impoverished people to use their own entrepreneurial spirit to sustainably exit poverty.

Theresa's long list of accomplishments includes: author, 11-time Mid-America Emmy winner, TEDx Speaker, U.S. State Department entrepreneurship trainer, BMW Responsible Leader,  Intercultural Leader and 2018 Global Diplomacy Lab Methodological Lead. Most importantly, Theresa has conducted leader training, lectures and mentorship of women in over 14 countries and received more than 18 awards recognizing her as a successful leader, social entrepreneur and champion of women. 

In this podcast, Theresa and I talk about:

  • How to help people emerge from impoverished to a financially independent status
  • Her unique approaches to sustainable poverty reduction 
  • How Ten By Three follows sound business practices to help artisans start businesses
  • How just a little encouragement and a pathway to income can change the world

Check out some of our most popular blogs and podcasts on entrepreneurship: 

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Download the 1-page synopsis of my book, "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights" here