Giving Compass' Take:

• Lisa Cox reports that in a factory in Liberia, a primarily female workforce creates clothing to sell and school uniforms to donate. The company is turning a profit, helping women become economically self-sufficient, and helping kids go to school by providing uniforms. 

• Is this social entrepreneurship model a sustainable an impactful endeavor? What can other businesses learn from this? 

• Learn how nonprofits and startups are scaling up impact and success

In 2015, cofounder Chid Liberty launched Liberian apparel company Liberty & Justice’s label, UNIFORM, which operates on the one-for-one model, promising a school uniform to a Liberian child for every piece of clothing sold.

“My kids are wearing the uniform that is made in this factory,” said Liberty & Justice seamstress Lydia Wallace.

In fact, Liberty founded the company to employ local women, and 98% of the children whose mothers work at the company are enrolled in school (as opposed to Liberia's national enrollment average of 65%).

“We think the best way to make sure kids go to school, is to make sure their moms have a job,” said Liberty.

And the 20,000 uniforms that Liberty & Justice has donated likely have helped, too. A 2004 MIT study found that providing free school uniforms to African children reduced school absenteeism by 43% and raised test scores by one quarter of a standard deviation. Another MIT study from 2010found that free school uniforms lowered the incidence of teen marriage by 20% and teen pregnancy by 17%.

The workers own 49% of the company’s shares, and its profits are pledged to the Liberty & Justice Foundation, which reinvests in the community via programs in economic empowerment, education, and healthcare, much of which was neglected throughout years of civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Read the full article about lifting women and children out of poverty by Lisa Cox at Forbes.