Who We Are.
ESPEROS is a social business built to provide a solution to a problem we don't feel is being adequately addressed: why poor children in developing countries lack access to an education. After more than a month of discussion and brainstorming, fueled by what was almost certainly an excessive amount of coffee-drinking (whoops!), we decided to sell backpacks and donate a portion of the proceeds to help send children to school.
To reach the greatest number of children possible, we send 50% of our profits to our non-profit partners. With yearly tuition as low as $20 USD in countries such as Haiti, that means we're often able to send one child to school for one year with just one bag.
To us, education is one of the most valuable tools available to help overcome poverty and we believe it is crucial to personal empowerment. But somehow, it often gets left out of the equation as more immediate needs are sought to be met when fighting poverty. While we understand that, we think it's high time a new solution that addresses the issue became available. That's why we do what we do.
Ah, yes. Our backpacks. We can't lie: we really love these. The Classic backpack is our modern, minimalist take on a classic rucksack and we think the simple design readily lends itself to the style of the every-man (and every-woman). With its durable cotton canvas shell - complemented by a slew of features including an iPod pouch on the front flap - it's ideal for the urban commute and that hiking trip you've been talking about forever. Available in Charcoal, Khaki, and Navy to start, one thing we can guarantee is this: don an ESPEROS backpack and you'll be frolicking wherever you frolick in style.
Where We Are.
We're in the process of manufacturing our first (well, technically second) batch of backpacks. Since our soft launch in April, we've been working out several kinks in the manufacturing process, including a recent setback that saw our first shipment damaged and unable to be salvaged. These last two months have provided a lot of frustration, but we've acquired a great deal of knowledge in the process and we feel like we'll be better off in the future for it.
What Sets Us Apart.
Aside from our higher-than-average per product commitment, we've designed ESPEROS to be a little different than other social businesses. We really want to get involved with the communities in which we work, so we're partnering with organizations who are active and deeply rooted in their communities. Our first partner, Fonkoze, has been on the ground in Haiti for 18 years and was awarded a Four-Star rating (of four stars) by Charity Navigator, receiving 67/70 points for transparency and accountability, meaning you can trust that the money we donate goes straight to the children we exist to serve. On top of that, our products are made in the USA - meaning we're providing more jobs for our workforce and helping revitalize the manufacturing industry in America.
Why We're On IndieGoGo.
Up to this point, we've been bootstrapping our way along and, while we enjoy the many ways it has made us appreciate the value of a dollar, it would be great to have a little wiggle room as we work to get things off the ground.
Simply put, more money means more bags and more bags ultimately means more children going to school. With over 70,000,000 school-aged children across the world lacking access to an education, we've got our work cut out for us.
We're also ambitious - perhaps a little too ambitious (nah, not really) - and we have several new styles we're itching to roll out. We've got a tote bag for women, a messenger bag, and wallets made by Haitian artisans all in the works and we'd love to get started on them sooner rather than later.
So we're looking to raise $25,000. That's where all of you fine folks come in. All of the money we raise through your financial contributions will be used to produce our first backpack, the Classic, and help get us started on the other ideas mentioned above.
We think we're on the brink of something special, so if you like what we're doing, please show your support and help us make it happen!
*Note For International Donors*
We realize (and hope) this project might draw interest from international supporters and, while we love you just the same as our national donors, we can't afford to ship free internationally just yet.
For international donors of $40 and lower, please add $10 to your donation.
For all other international donors, please add $15 to your donation.
**Special Thanks to CGAP and Fonkoze for the footage provided for the making of our video.**
Team on This Campaign: