Better vision, better world: VisionSpring founder serves as keynote for ND social entrepreneurship conference

Author: Carol Elliott

Jordan Kassalow, founder of VisionSpring, is the keynote speaker for the 2014 Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference, held Sept. 17-19 at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Kassalow’s talk, “Why Two Million Customers is Not Enough,” takes place 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, in Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

According to VisionSpring, more than 700 million people worldwide suffer from correctable vision deficits, with about 90 percent of them living in developing countries. Reduced productivity due to vision problems amounts to an annual loss of more than $200 billion to the global economy.

The not-for-profit, founded in 2007, uses an innovative hub-and-spokes market approach to make eyewear accessible and affordable. Its optical shops function as hubs and vision entrepreneurs act like spokes conducting outreach in the communities surrounding the optical shops.  All of VisionSpring’s optical shops employ an optometrist capable of conducting comprehensive eye exams, and each optical shop has a team of vision entrepreneurs associated with it. The organization has helped nearly 2 million people worldwide so far.

The annual Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference is organized by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. The conference gathers social entrepreneurs from around the world to discuss and present current trends and thought leadership in utilizing entrepreneurship as a tool to impact society for the better.

The Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship was founded in 1998 for the purpose of fostering innovation and infusing aspiring entrepreneurs with a sense of the possible. Through rigorous coursework, business plan competitions, extensive networking and mentorship, and hands-on learning experiences, the center provides students with the knowledge and skills vital to entrepreneurship.

For more information about the Irish Impact Social Entrepreneurship Conference, visit