Freedom Stones


I heard Dr. Yunus the Founder of Grameen Bank, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the man who first introduced the idea of Micro Lending to the world’s poor at Syracuse University this week.  His lecture was over an hour and he said many things that were compelling and thought provoking.  But the one thing that has been ringing in my ears all week was his reply to a question that was asked at the end of the evening.  A student asked, “what can I do to help the poor?”  And Dr. Yunus provided a realistic response…

Start small.  Right in your own neighborhood.  Help 5 people.  Just 5 people.

Dr. Yunus had been explaining his idea of Social Business.  A business that exists not to increase profit margins for the owners but instead to alleviate a social problem.   (poverty, health care, environmental issues, etc.)  You can read a more detailed explanation here.

On the drive home with two friends there were wheels turning and not just the wheels on the car I was driving.  What social business ideas come to your mind?  Who are your 5 people?  Where do I start in my neighborhood or community?  The windows were steaming up!  The next morning I already had an email from one of them detailing her late night conversation with her husband and an idea that just might come to fruition sooner than any of us would have imagined.

For me, I went to Freedom Stones.  It was a small step that I could take the very next morning.  Freedom Stones was founded by Leah Knippel a few years ago to combat human trafficking through income generation projects for women that have been trafficked.  Her online sales began less than 2 weeks ago and I’d been holding off on ordering something.

One of the major underlying causes of human trafficking is poverty.  Since 2005, Founder Leah Knippel has been fighting human trafficking through income generation projects aimed at not only providing financially for vulnerable women and their children, but also at empowering women through holistic training and skills development.  Freedom Stones (incorporated in 2009) continues Leah’s original vision that vulnerable families might have opportunity to earn individual incomes while also being given the tools to build stronger thriving communities in areas where poverty continues a cycle of slavery, oppression and injustice.      . . . read the rest of the story here.


I didn’t start a Social Business this week.  But I did place an order and support one.  You can too!  (still working on my list of 5 people)




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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Freedom Stones

  1. Caitlin

    I love him! I saw him speak at Pepperdine our senior year – very inspiring.

  2. My mamma always said, change the world one person at a time…I loved this:)

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