Help us turn the world upside-down!

2014 - Untours Foundation

Help us turn the world upside-down!

December 2014 Dear Untours family, As a youngster, my grandfather “Pop” taught himself to read out of boredom during long church services, sitting on the floor at his father’s knee. While the minister read the scripture aloud, he would follow his father’s finger on the words in the Bible. In time, Pop could read what

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IceStone Overcomes Adversity

Here’s a great article that summarizes all the challenges that IceStone has faced, including 5 feet of standing water after hurricane Sandy, and how CEO Dal LaMagna and their employees have come together and gotten IceStone back on its feet! Read it here.

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EcoZoom in Smithsonian Design Contest!

Untours Foundation loan recipient EcoZoom has been nominated as one of 2014’s design pioneers by Smithsonian Design Museum. Their Jet cookstove makes it possible to burn much less charcoal and produce much less carbon emissions, which improves the health of folks on the ground and improves the health of our planet. EcoZoom estimates that CO2

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That’s some bake sale!

One of the Untours Foundations’ early investments was a small credit union in North Carolina called Self-Help. Small Beginnings Self-Help Credit Union had just about the smallest beginning you can imagine — with $77 in bake sale proceeds! Since 1984, it has grown to 17 branches all over North Carolina. True to its roots and mission, it gives back

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Equal Exchange Avocado Update

The Background: Equal Exchange has been selling fair trade coffee since 1986, and we first supported them with a loan in 1998. We invested equity in 2009 to launch their fair trade banana importing company Oke USA. Equal Exchange/Oke USA supports fair trade cooperatives and bring their goods to the US market, fostering mutually beneficial relationships and environmental sustainability.

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Wash Cycle rides to D.C.

The Background: Since 2010, Wash Cycle Laundry has established itself as one of the leaders in combining social entrepreneurship with green business, employing adults from vulnerable populations to work in their bicycle powered green laundry service. It earned “Best of Philly” in 2012 and the Sustainable Business Network‘s Visionary Entrepreneur Award in 2011, among other

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SosteNica Sustainable Farming Update

The Background: Alan, our near-neighbor of West Chester, PA, is founder and President of SosteNica. SosteNica provides multiple layers of support to Nicaraguan communities, starting with microcredit loans and reaching to hands-on initiatives in sustainable building and agriculture. Additionally, SosteNica is where our Charitable Remainder Trust is invested. For more background, visit our SosteNica page. Alan gave us

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