ADI is a social entrepreneurial 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to investing in opportunities to improve the health, education, and economies of communities in low-resource settings.
ADI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Massachusetts. We take a social entrepreneurial approach to developing communities in low-resource settings. Using our expertise in finance and investments in emerging markets, we seek out opportunities to fund and implement self-sustaining projects that will improve the health, education, and business infrastructures in our communities. We then couple that social entrepreneurship with strenuous evaluations of our efforts, combining the rigor of research and academia with market solutions.
The entrepreneurial approach has two valuable advantages: creative energy and accountability. Entrepreneurs take a risk by investing in an endeavour they believe will succeed, accepting the responsibility of providing their customers with a desirable product. The entrepreneurial approach demands us to constantly question if there is a better, more efficient, more enjoyable way of providing a good or service.
With the social entrepreneurial model, we take that energy and channel it towards social good. Rather than focusing solely on profit generation, we work to ensure at the onset of our projects that the success of our work will make substantial improvements to either the educational services, health outcomes, and/or economic development where we work. We then reinvest these profits back into our communities.
ADI does not give things away. While this is a common approach with many non-profit organizations, we instead seek a buy-in from the communities where we work. This of course makes our jobs much more difficult, but results in projects that provide community stakeholders with choice and a quality service from an organization that is accountable to its customers. In order to make this work, we partner with local governments, traditional leaders, locally embedded NGOs, universities, the private sector, and development institutions. Together, we aim to create empowerment, not dependence.
ADI is dedicated to research and financial responsibility. We understand that each community and village has its own needs and will require a unique solution. With all of our development projects, we aim to maximize the social returns on all of the resources we utilize. First, we conduct rigorous background research on the best-practices and case studies for any project we undertake. Then, we begin with a diligent formative assessment to understand the needs and demands in our communities. During the implementation of our project, we continue to evaluate our efforts, constantly using feedback from these reports to improve as we implement. Finally, we scrutinize our projects at their termination to evaluate our outcomes and ensure that we achieved what we set out to do.
Although we are a non-profit organization, we implement our projects as if we are aiming to maximize profits. Doing this ensures that our solutions to these social problems are culturally and regionally appropriate. If people do not like our products or ideas, they will not purchase them. It is then up to us to either make the product more attractive, less expensive, or easier to use for our customers. With the income generated from the sale of our products and services, we are then able to reinvest in new projects, having a recycling fund for development.
ADI was co-founded in 2007 by Sangu Delle and Darryl Finkton as undergraduates at Harvard University. Sangu, a native of Ghana with a background in finance and economics, and Darryl, from the U.S. with a biology and global health interest, aimed to combine the rigor of academic research with the utility of business to create social change and development. The first ADI project, Access to Clean Water for Agyementi (ACWA), did just that by proving potable water supplies, installing sanitation facilities, and promoting safe hygiene in a Ghanaian village. ADI continues to fund and implement, as well as consult self-sustaining development projects in low-resource settings throughout the world.
ADI was officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2010.