Friday, January 17, 2014

Portovelo - Good in Every Purchase

By Christopher KL Lau

Portovelo
Many well-meaning social and business entrepreneurs are now finding ways in their business models to both run a sustainable business and to give back to society, in their own little way. This is a current trend which is sweeping the world of business; to not only make a profit but to help lift others out of poverty at the sametime.

One of these successful social ventures is the Hong Kong based, "Portovelo". The idea is the brainchild of founder Lavina Tien, who was inspired by her love of both travel and charity.

Portovelo
Via her journeys throughout the world, she saw much beauty in the different peoples and cultures she encountered yet she also saw much suffering and poverty. This was especially true in off-the-beaten-track developing nations such as Nepal, Cambodia and Tanzania where she witness extreme poverty which hindered the social and economic development of those respective nations. Being empathetic and compassionate, she decided to make a stance and help those in need in her own little way.

Portovelo
Tien was also alarmed by the stark and staggering statistics about child poverty, about 600 million children in the world today live on less than a dollar a day and often have to drop out of education to work and support their families.

More than 1 billion children are severely deprived of essential needs required to survive, grow and develop. These include needs like basic food and nutrition, access to clean water, healthcare, shelter and education. Touched by what she saw and armed with a Harvard Business Degree, she set up Portovelo which makes simple yet attractive slip on sneakers for sale around the world. Each sale of a shoe will go towards purchasing 15 meals for deprived children. Purchasing one of these shoes is not only a fashion statement, it also will help feed a child and maybe change their circumstances forever.

Portovelo
Portovelo also work closely with specific NGOs to help their dream become a reality; hence their partnership with the well known Flourishing Futures NGO in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. Everytime a pair of shoes is purchased, the profits will provide 15 meals to a hungry child in their care. This will be of great relief to Flourishing Futures as it provides food assistance to families living below the poverty line. Poverty and hunger are a marked part of everyday life in Mongolia and these children often do not know when their next meal will be. Having regular meals will allow them to have the energy and strength to fully participate in either work and education to the best of their ability.

Portovelo - Good in Every Purchase
Portovelo also keep their eye on current news affairs and with the recent disasters in the Philippines, Portovelo donated a portion of all their sales proceeds to the World Visions' emergency food relief program in the Philippines, for all purchases at the end of 2013. With Portoveolo, Lavina Tien is making a huge difference, one slip on sneaker at a time!