Benjamin Stone '04 takes innovative approach to social enterprise in Rwanda
After four years as a commercial litigation associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in New York, Benjamin Stone '04 took a 50-percent pay cut in 2008 when, in an unusual form of pro bono, Orrick agreed to keep Stone on the payroll as Stone became a full-time employee of Indego Africa. The nonprofit organization, which Orrick continues to provide with substantial support, helps female survivors of genocide in Rwanda by paying the women a fair wage to make handicrafts; facilitating the sale of those products; and putting the profits into training programs that prepare the women for entrepreneurship. "The handicrafts are an engine to get at much more long-term sustainability and empowerment," Stone said in a recent article, adding, "I've found my calling. I know what I want to do, and it's an incredible feeling." Professor Kathleen McGinn of Harvard Business School found Indego Africa's model compelling enough to perform a case study on it, slated for publication in 2011.
Posted on January 5, 2010