In the spring of 2012, seven Peace Corps volunteers came together in Guinea, West Africa. Unbeknownst to them at the time, this meeting would lay an important foundation for a movement that would change the course of their services, the lives of 21 young Guineans, and launch a movement that would alter many more. These were the early beginnings of Dare to Innovate (DTI), what is now an established organization that challenges youth across West Africa to design and jump-start their own social enterprises, transforming social issues into revenue-generating solutions.
We are truly a global organization: born in Guinea, raised on the two coasts of the US, we have monthly tete-à-tetes via video chats that span 3 continents and ¼ of the world’s time zones. We have the soul of a nonprofit and the mind of a business. We seek exponential growth of good ideas and are ready to toss aside those that have minimal impact. We care about cash flow and strategic goals as much as we care about “warm fuzzies”. We view 501c3 as an incubator that can give birth to ideas that will change the world, but in doing so, may also change the structure that protects them.
At the end of the day, our DNA is shaped by the Peace Corps. They’ve been espousing human-centered design since before it had a name. We were brought together by fate, ambition, and John F. Kennedy himself to go out into the world and solve needs with people who strive to improve their livelihoods. Everything we do is done with, not for, our beneficiaries.