VisionSpring works to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market which has failed to deliver a 700 year old technology to 703 million people earning less than $4 per day.
There are over 700 million people worldwide who could have their vision restored with a simple pair of glasses, and 90% of these people live in the developing world. Many of them cannot afford to buy the glasses available in current markets, while others are located rurally and would have to travel great distances to receive costly vision screenings. Unfortunately, the world of optical market has largely failed to provide for these individuals. As a result, they encounter an unnecessary loss not only of vision and quality of life, but also of daily income and educational opportunities. It is estimated that uncorrected vision accounts for a $202 billion loss in the global economy.
VisionSpring’s mission is to create access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. By reaching these consumers, VisionSpring aims to combat uncorrected vision and enhance the socioeconomic condition of poor and low-income individuals in one clean sweep. VisionSpring’s unique model of combining the right price point; creating stylish eyeglasses and delivering a high-quality product; aligns with the needs and desires of their low-earning customers who are willing to allocate limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction. For a worker who earns just $2 a day, this translates into $9 a month, or $108 a year. Further, by hosting Vision Access Projects in schools, VisionSpring provides glasses to thousands of students each year. The ability to see and read clearly allows students to attain higher levels of academic achievement. The solution was developed by VisionSpring Founder Dr. Jordan Kassalow, after a trip to eye camps in Central America to cure Onchocerciasis (river blindness) opened his eyes to the lack of standard eye care and refractive correction available in the emerging and frontier markets of the world.
VisionSpring is positively disrupting the optical market by creating access to affordable vision services for the low-income consumer that has been overlooked by the traditional market. As a non-profit social enterprise, social change motivates them first. As such, they treat low-income individuals as customers rather than beneficiaries. By selling new radically affordable eyeglasses—equivalent to one to two day wages or less—VisionSpring is able to serve four times as many people living in poverty per dollar input than the next alternative of donating recycled glasses. In doing so, VisionSpring awakens a new demand and seeds a viable market.
By tapping into markets where up to 70% of customers are “first-time wearers,” VisionSpring is systemically changing the functionality and well-being of entire communities. VisionSpring restores vision while helping customers to see their potential.
VisionSpring has already created over $280 million in impact, and each dollar donated to their organization has seen an economic impact of $23. VisionSpring believes that its full impact is achieved when eyeglasses provide their customers with a sustainable and imminent pathway out of poverty. By 2020 VisionSpring hopes to have sold 10 million pairs of glasses, creating $2.16 billion in earning potential.