Verbem offers a solution to vision-related school dropouts by democratizing access to eyeglasses in Brazil. Profits from a regular product line finance the production of one-dollar glasses.
"Limited vision shouldn’t limit your potential. A firm believer in this is Ralf Toenjes, co-founder of the non-governmental organization Renovation, that produces eyeglasses for a dollar. The cheap glasses enable underprivileged children and youth with vision problems to attend school and work more efficiently. Renovatio used funds generated through donations to set up two mobile eye clinics in Brazil and provide eyeglasses to 17,000 people in 19 states. Building on the idea, Toenjes partnered with Axel Ali to found VerBem. The founders are exploring a hybrid business model that can generate funds for producing eyeglasses for disadvantaged youth. VerBem aims to help 1 million people with vision limitations by 2021. "