IMPACT

Questioning The TOMS Shoes Model For Social Enterprise

03/20/2013 09:30 am ET

After visiting Argentina and seeing the impact of poverty on some of its children, Blake Mycoskie was inspired to create a philanthropic “for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations.” The result was Toms Shoes, which promised that for every pair of shoes it sold, it would give away another pair to a child in need.

Since its founding in 2006, Toms has given more than 2 million pairs of shoes to children living in poverty in more than 51 countries. And it now has a line of eyewear that offers the same promise. The organization Mr. Mycoskie created has become a well-known example of a company that is based on business principles but also gives back.

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