Happy New Year from Erase Poverty

Happy New Year!
I originally started writing this letter before the holidays, and the image above seemed perfect! But I found myself with competing priorities, and decided to make this a New Year’s letter instead! However, as I reflect on the main thought I’d like share with you, this image still conveys the message well!


When we all contribute something, together we have overflowing abundance.

This year, you have each shared your time, talent, expertise, connections, finances and enthusiastic support to help launch Erase Poverty. Together, those contributions have led to overflowing abundance as we journey towards achieving our big vision of helping lift 600 million people out of poverty. I am deeply grateful for each of you. Thank you.


Here are a few highlights we are grateful for from 2011

  • We launched with a great party in October! With the variety of contributions that you each made, we were able to go from a visionary idea to a launched organization within 8 short months!
  • We have 35 advisers who have helped shape our vision, business model, legal and operational structure, finances, brand, messaging and more!
  • We have 70+ volunteers who have used their skills and time to design marketing materials, produce videos, write press releases, create our web site, research technology solutions, launch our social media efforts, review contracts, help at the Erase Poverty booth, spread the word and make introductions.
  • We have a growing alliance of microfinance partners, including Foundation for Women, Kiva, Opportunity International and World Vision.
  • Together, we have already helped fund over a dozen microloans for women and men working their way out of poverty around the world.
  • We have small business members who are already winning more business, as their customers respond positively to the way they are giving people a handup through their membership in Erase Poverty.
  • We were sponsors of Small Business Saturday, an effort that saw millions of people choose to shop at local small businesses on November 26.
  • We have a variety of ambassadors, using their sphere of influence to distribute our brochures to small business owners across the country.
  • We had multiple news publications pick up the story of our vision, and write articles on Erase Poverty.


We are entering 2012 with a good foundation and some incredible opportunities, ready to build momentum a step at a time!
Our two key priorities are to:

  1. invite small businesses to join our program
  2. secure the funding needed to get the word out and grow!

If you have new ideas or connections that could help with these two priorities or our ongoing efforts, please email me! I would love to hear from you.

In this coming year, I invite you to continue contributing your time, expertise, resources and voice to this incredible movement to erase poverty through the power of small business. You are making a difference! Let’s press on together to change the world! You are a tangible expression of the truth of one of our guiding quotes "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead

In 2012, may your life overflow with abundant success towards realizing your dreams, a deep sense of significance through your contribution, and gratitude for all the blessings in your life. Happy New Year!

Looking forward to great things ahead,


Joanna Wasmuth
CEO & Founder