A MOMENT WITH ADAM BRAUN OF PENCILS OF PROMISE
Yinka Brand recently caught up with Adam Braun, a New York Times bestselling author and the founder of Pencils of Promise, an organization that brings life-changing education to children living in poverty around the world. “He has been named to Business Insider’s 40 Under 40, Wired Magazine’s 50 People Who Are Changing the World, and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. He has also been a featured speaker at The White House, United Nations and Clinton Global Initiative.” His book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change debuted at #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list and went on to become a #1 national bestseller.
You founded PoP (Pencils of Promise) with just $25. Tell us how you were able to grow it into what it is today?
I founded Pencils of Promise in 2008 on my 25th birthday with just $25. Since then, PoP has built more than 250 schools throughout Laos, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Ghana, providing education opportunities to over 30,000 students. We are a “for-purpose,” rather than a non-profit, organization. Pencils of Promise is unique in that we blend non-profit idealism with for-profit business acumen and I think this approach has enabled us to grow into the organization we are today.
Pencils of Promise has also been able to harness the power of social media in truly incredible ways over the past six years. We use our social media network to engage people in our mission and to empower them to become ambassadors of our work, which has resulted in a community of over 35,000 fundraisers.
If you find a cause that inspires you it is easier than ever before to get involved, spread the word, and become a force for change.
In your own opinion, do you think everyone can be a force for positive change in our world today? If yes, tell us why you think so.
Yes, I definitely think that everyone can, and should, be a force for positive change in our world today. The great thing about our world today is that everyone is connected through social media and constantly being exposed to causes and organizations that they can become involved in. If you find a cause that inspires you it is easier than ever before to get involved, spread the word, and become a force for change.
What is your best business advice for young/aspiring entrepreneurs?
Find your purpose and then work tirelessly to fulfill that purpose. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you are passionate about.
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