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In 2019, over 2.6 billion people were deemed to have poor vision, and half of the cases are easily treatable. Yet vision impairment does not have the level of global awareness required to eradicate this public health issue. Despite the numbers, uncorrected poor vision is not part of the United Nations¬’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which encapsulate 17 global issues such as poverty, hunger, and childhood mortality. Poor vision is the largest unaddressed disability in the world today, but for decades it has been forgotten at best, or, worst, ignored. National governments, the United Nations, the World Health Organization – none have done enough to acknowledge this problem and act on it (Chen, 2017). Activist investor and philanthropist James Chen set out to prove that the solution to vision correction is readily available, accessible and increasingly affordable. In 2016, Chen launched a global campaign, Clearly, as an advocacy initiative to bring heightened awareness to vision impairment and effect changes in policy. This case study focuses on how Chen applied an entrepreneurial mindset to the problem of vision impairment, developed and deployed strategic approaches to create a sustainable business model on the local level, and then replicated the process on a global scale.


Frontier Philanthropy, James Chen, Rwanda, Global South Philanthropy, Vision for a Nation, Clearly, Impact Philanthropy, poor vision



Date Posted:19 February 2021