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This is part of a special series on “accidental entrepreneurs” that showcases inspiring stories and learnings of determination and innovation in business across sectors.
Melissa Kushner, Founder of GoodsforGood's story is such a great example of the accidental social entrepreneur. As she told attendees at the NextGen: Charity Conference and you can read on their website, while on a trip to Africa for the UN Foundation, she saw a great need, was inspired to do more, and realized she could use her skills to help.
Essentially, she saw that basic essentials and resources like clothing, educational supplies and toys were desperately needed in areas of Africa. Through her connections, she was able to coordinate and ship surplus supplies from corporations in the US to meet the needs. Thus, GoodsforGood was born.
From her experiences, Melissa has a 5 Step Guide to International Development that she imparted at the NextGen: Charity Conference. These tips are applicable and useful for all nonprofits, businesses and entrepreneurs, though:
- Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good
- Never assume that your clients’ needs are the same as your own
- Don’t measure success with the same yardstick
- Partnership is paramount to success
- Share knowledge – leverage resources