We’re a Toronto-based private, non-profit foundation registered originally in Florida and now in Canada with the singular goal of promoting business-like approaches to reduce world poverty. We see so much waste in service delivery by the many do-gooders who work hard and mean well. But we’re convinced that a better approach would be to adapt business-like acumen and rigor to the problems of the poor. Simplicity and focus does wonders for business – and it can help alleviate poverty as well.

So in a nutshell, microbusiness is our answer – though well-structured turnkey (free) franchises. We’ve already developed a bunch of specialized little initiatives that work – like block manufacturing, planting bamboo farms and building canning operations for local growers.

Our research section on this site outlines how modest our success has been. In more than 10 years we’ve come with only a handful of great ideas and have had trouble making them stick after we leave a recipient community. Our failures in sustaining isolated startups after we leave are a painful reminder of the challenges of working with people who lack the kind of support systems we take for granted.

Finally, we’re having more success with mobile software by offering a platform any teacher or entrepreneur can use to launch a great messaging app in a day. It lets someone offer a modern advice service with remarkable efficiency.



With distinguished speakers and a vibrant set of presentations, the Novotel Toronto Summit was a great exercise. Author Robert Calderisi provided his candid insight into Duff's excessive optimism. Robert's book 'The Trouble With Africa' details his concerns of why aid isn't working. The panelists' advice was that the Duff Young Foundation needs to start with a smaller footprint (a couple of tiny structures) in a country that would be easier to launch (than Liberia).


-LOCAL food production

-CANNING local fruits and vegetables

-BAMBOO farms and plant nurseries

-GOOD DESIGN sensibility for bldgs

-URBANISM instead of sprawl

-LOCAL manufacturing, local materials