Scojo Foundation Changes Name to VisionSpring, Launches $5 Million Prospectus to Build Sustainable Social Enterprise

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Prospectus Builds on VisionSpring's Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Triple the Scale of its Impact by 2010 and Represents Latest Thinking in Social Enterprise Financing; "Business in a Bag" Microfranchise Model Reduces Poverty and Creates Economic Opportunities in Latin America, South Asia and Africa

We look forward to expanding our ability to reduce poverty and create economic opportunities in underserved markets around the world through the sale of affordable glasses, while simultaneously creating a whole new sector of the economy.

Scojo Foundation today announced that it is changing its name to VisionSpring to better reflect its mission and brand for the long term and is launching a five year, $5 million prospectus to secure funding to build a sustainable enterprise capable of reducing poverty and creating economic opportunities throughout Latin America, South Asia and Africa.

"VisionSpring's prospectus builds on our commitment as part of the Clinton Global Initiative to triple the scale of our impact by 2010," said Dr. Jordan Kassalow, Co-Founder and Chairman of VisionSpring. "We look forward to expanding our ability to reduce poverty and create economic opportunities in underserved markets around the world through the sale of affordable glasses, while simultaneously creating a whole new sector of the economy."

By securing funding upfront to scale its model, VisionSpring's prospectus will allow VisionSpring to devote 100% of its resources to executing its mission, as opposed to diverting attention to fundraising to support its operations on an ongoing basis. This model represents an emerging trend in social enterprise, microfranchising, and nonprofit financing--signaling a move towards capitalization based on the private sector equity model.

For tailors, weavers, electricians, and others throughout Latin America, Asia and Africa who need to see up-close for their livelihoods, the loss of near vision means the loss of the ability to work and support a family. While it can be easy to take access to affordable glasses for granted, 400 million people living in poverty whose productivity, self-reliance and dignity hinge on this simple tool lack access to it. Through its pioneering "Business in a Bag," VisionSpring uses an inherently self-sustaining and highly scalable micro-franchising model to bring affordable glasses and complementary products to individuals in predominantly rural areas with a daily income of between $1 and $4. VisionSpring's Business-in-a-Bag microfranchise model is seamlessly integrated into partner organizations' ongoing operations, which allows VisionSpring to leverage existing local distribution networks--such as BRAC's in Bangladesh, the largest NGO in the world--and greatly increase its impact.

VisionSpring's prospectus will enable VisionSpring to position its Business-in-a-Bag model for large scale deployment and expand its franchising system to tap into large peer-to-peer networks that already exist. In doing so, VisionSpring will strengthen these networks, further incorporating them and the underserved markets that they serve into the global economy. VisionSpring will also introduce its products to retail chains that have begun to serve low-income areas in the developing world, bringing clear vision and increased economic productivity to millions of people who currently suffer from a loss of near vision and a lack of access to affordable glasses and proper eye care.

Currently operating in thirteen countries in South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, VisionSpring has sold over 100,000 pairs of affordable glasses, trained over 1,100 Vision Entrepreneurs, and referred over 90,000 people for advanced eye care. To learn more about VisionSpring, please visit http://www.VisionSpring.org.

About VisionSpring
VisionSping is a nonprofit social enterprise that reduces poverty and generates economic opportunities through the sale of affordable glasses in impoverished regions throughout Asia, Latin America and Africa. For tailors, weavers, and others in the developing world who need to see up-close for their livelihoods, the loss of near vision means the loss of the ability to work and support a family. While it can be easy to take access to affordable glasses for granted, 400 million people living in poverty whose productivity, self-reliance and dignity hinge on this simple tool lack access to it. VisionSpring provides a simple solution to this tremendous market failure, empowering local "Vision Entrepreneurs" with skills and materials to sell life-changing glasses and refer those who need advanced eye care to reputable clinics.

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John Keaten
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