Who We Are
To start and grow cross-cultural social enterprises built on an asset-based approach and immersive collaboration.
Kenya Country Director
Ghana Co-Country Director
Chief Operations Officer
What We've Done
ThinkImpact was born from, founder and Chairman of the Board, Saul Garlick’s visit to Delani, a rural community in Mpumalanga, South Africa in 2002. As a young man, he committed to building classrooms for 80 students, and the notion that students could be a powerful source for global change took shape. Years of work on projects in South Africa and Kenya followed. Saul and other student leaders sought big answers about student impact. What could really change lives? How do we expand opportunities for people living in rural or traditionally marginalized communities? How can we truly partner with locals? In 2003, they founded the Student Movement for Real Change (SMRC), as a non-profit to address just these issues.
In 2007, the SMRC ran it’s first international trip in rural South Africa; back to Mpumalanga. We were all deeply moved by the relationships that were formed between students and community members. For the next several years, we all wondered: How can we turn relationships built at the local level into opportunity? Students from that first program joined our team when they graduated, eager to create change. There were no clear answers, but the journey had begun. Social entrepreneurship emerged as a possible solution to global poverty. We became convinced that we could build a sustainable social enterprise that would empower locals to use innovation and entrepreneurship to change their lives and their communities.
By 2011, the Think Impact Company, a certified B Corp, was born to fulfill the mission of bringing social entrepreneurship to life through experiential education. Students , working directly with community members on social innovation and entrepreneurship projects, would catalyze change. ThinkImpact expanded rapidly to bring students and entrepreneurs together from Universities and communities around the globe. From South Africa and Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda and Panama joined our team. The enterprises coming out of ThinkImpact became more advanced, the innovation more dynamic.
Today, ThinkImpact is in it’s fifth year of programs to deliver on the promise of social entrepreneurship. Through the ingenuity of students and locals working together, and a curriculum we’ve designed, called The Innovator, over 100 microenterprises have been launched, creating over 300 jobs. We’ve teamed with over 500 students from around the globe to focus on how to reframe an asset, tackle a roadblock and grow a business in 20+ communities.
We’re just getting started.
Awards, Affiliations & News
Who's Helped Us Do It
We partner with universities, businesses, non-profits and government organizations to make Institutes accessible to even more outstanding students, and support their work after Institutes have ended.
For their support and partnership, we recognize: