Description of Innovation

Vision loss takes a toll on the global economy, as a major cause of decreases in productivity. However, of the 733 million people suffering from vision loss worldwide, 70% can be helped with eyeglasses. But access to high quality vision care, including eye exams and glasses, is out of reach for many low-income populations. 

VisionSpring developed a highly efficient delivery system that functions at all levels of care. Using a franchise model VisionSpring increases access to eye care professionals, by employing self-sustaining vision entrepreneurs who launch their own ‘business-in-a-bag’ selling eyeglasses and conducting basic eye exams. They also operate optical stores and mobile vans and partner with like-minded organizations. Partnerships help VisionSpring use economies of scale to decrease costs and sell each pair of eyeglasses for only $1.  

VisionSpring employs 9,000 vision entrepreneurs across 16 countries and has sold over 1.5 million pairs of eyeglasses.  Through a partnership model that works with microfinance institutions, NGOs, for profit businesses, and social enterprises VisionSpring glasses are now being worn in 40 developing countries.