Thursday, 28 February 2013 18:23

Andrew's IDEX Fellowship - Launching a career in fighting poverty

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Andrew's IDEX Fellowship - Launching a career in fighting poverty

Hi, I’m Andrew and I’m going to India for 6 months with the IDEX Fellowship to work in a local social enterprise to gain the skills I need to fight poverty for a lifetime. Your help is crucial to my success. Your help also nets you some pretty cool perks. To contribute please visit my paypal donation page. 

The Quick and Dirty: A Summary

I’m an American who was born and raised abroad living ten years in the Netherlands and six in Costa Rica. From a young age I knew I wanted to do something global in scope and something important. It wasn’t until I moved to the United States for the first time that I realized combating poverty would be my life’s work. When I saw that there was deep and pervasive poverty even in the capitol of capitalism I knew there was something very important missing in the prevailing economic system.

That missing part is a competitive market sector that prioritizes the social and environmental impacts of their actions. Social enterprise is that missing sector. Social enterprise uses competitive business skills to run self-sustaining non-profits that create rather than destroy social and environmental value. This is why I want to help build social enterprises, this is why I’m going to India for 6 months to work on the ground in a local social enterprise.

By supporting my trip to India you will be giving me the tools I need to be successful for a lifetime. This trip will teach me extraordinary skills in running effective social enterprises, communicating and collaborating with poor communities and navigating enterprises through the often confounding and frustrating social and political landscape of a developing country. Your impact will last throughout my entire career, for decades to come I will be more effective at using the resources at my disposal to generate social and environmental returns.

What I Need & What You Get

Fortunately it is very affordable to live in India. Once in India I expect to need only $1,100 to cover ordinary living expenses, health insurance and a cell phone for the full 6 months. Flying to and from India is by far the greatest expense. Since I cannot predict an exact date of return I will be purchasing two one-way tickets that will cost approximately $2,000 in total plus a $175 visa fee. Additionally I have just visited the travel clinic to get all of my vaccinations and medications and have discovered that this will cost approximately $650. 

This brings my total expenses plus fundraising fees to $3,925 but I am only asking for $2,500. I am coming out of a 1 year Master of Management Studies degree at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, I chose to pursue a world class business education in order to best succeed in social enterprise.  As you can imagine it has been a very expensive year for me. I need your help funding this next step in my journey.

In return for your much appreciated support you will receive some fun perks. All supporters will be featured on the front page of this blog. You can also earn:

  • Exlusive stories shared just for you via a thank you postcard
  • Classy souvenirs that fit in the palm of my hand
  • Authentic indian spices with a recipe to put them to good use,
  • Skype calls that let you see what I see in India
  • Stunning gifts from India based upon your request; I'll be your personal shopperDon't miss out! I've crafted these perks based on what I would want if I were a supporter so they are pretty great.

Find the full details of these perks at the bottom of this page.

Any support beyond my goal will help me cover my full expenses of $3,300. Above that level and I will travel after the 6 months are over and see more of India; having fun but extending and deepining the experience and learning more in the process.

Where I’ll be Working

I will be working in Hyderabad with the Indian School Finance Company, a social enterprise devoted to making education affordable for all Indian children. ISFC makes loans to affordable private schools enabling them to improve their infrastructure, buy computers and expand to serve more students. ISFC supported schools provide a considerably better education than public schools and yet manage to maintain school fees at only $5 per month. This affordable private school system is helping to lift families out of poverty and bring them in to India's growing middle class. Here is an adorable video made by some of the students attending affordable private schools in Hyderabad.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you cannot help me financially, fear not for there is much you can do. The first and most important action you can take is spread the word about my campaign. Think about friends, family and coworkers that will also be excited about my mission and encourage them to support me.

Next if you can help me get any of the items on my expense list (e.g. air plane ticket, cell phone in India, food in Hyderabad) at a major discount or for free, that would be awesome!

A few more things:

  • Follow and share my blog at
  • Help me find a job with an awesome social enterprise for when I return to the US. (Hint: I love places like Ashoka and Acumen Fund).
  • Share your knowledge of social enterprise and/or development with me so I can be successful in the field and in the future.
  • Put me in touch with helpful or friendly people in Hyderabad. Being involved in social enterprise or development is a plus, but far from a necessity by any means.


I am honored to have your support. We all have countless causes we support that do fantastic work and we wish we could do more for. Your help is deeply appreciated and your vote of confidence in me as a tool for fighting poverty motivates me to work even harder and prove that you made a worthwhile investment.





for your contribution



    Bragging Rights

    You'll be recognized on my blog as a supporter of my fellowship and of social entrepreneurship. On my blog I will share photos, write about my experience and keep you all up to date on my work. This will be a great place to show off that you helped make it all possible.

    1 claimed



    Exclusive Scoop

    I will mail you a personalized postcard from India thanking you for your help and sharing a special story with only you. *Includes all previous perks as well.

    Estimated delivery: July 2013

    5 claimed



    Classy Souvenir

    No cheap airport knick knacks. I will bring you back a classy souvenir that fits in the palm of my hand. *Includes all previous perks as well.

    1 claimed



    Indian Spice

    I will mail you a parcel of authentic Indian spices. I'll even include a recommendation recipe from a local friend for putting them to good use. *Includes all previous perks as well.

    1 claimed



    Skype me & see India

    Skype me for a direct feed to India and share my experience with your own eyes. I will show you everything I can of India and Hyderabad. Join me on the streets, in the market, at work or anywhere I can find an internet connection. We can skype monthly at the least and more often if I'm not extremely busy working. *Includes all previous perks as well.

    1 claimed



    Gift from India

    Need an anniversary present? Or just something stunning for the house? I'll be your personal shopper and bring you back something extraordinary. We will talk about what you want, if possible exchange some photos, and I will find your special present. If you don't want to wait until I get back or your gift is very large we can arrange for shipping. If your gift is expensive, you will have to help me pay for it, because after all I am fundraising! *Includes all previous perks as well.

    Estimated delivery: January 2014
    1 claimed
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