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Rescue Mission

Can American entrepreneurs help solve social ills?

This story appears in the August 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Trained as an eye doctor, Jordan Kassalow had worked in more than 40 countries, helping treat river blindness and other ailments. "For [each person] who needed sophisticated eye care, there were 30 people who needed basic reading glasses," says Kassalow, 43. "There was a huge market failure, and a huge market opportunity to sell cheap reading glasses."

Kassalow believed entrepreneurs were best positioned to fill this niche. "Smaller companies can take cost margins [selling to the poor] that larger companies may be unwilling to take."

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