The point of our research is to help people see the robustness of a given innovation. By now we thought that our little homeless street ventures or bamboo farms would be stable and growing in number and volume. But so far, we have little to boast. In that way we share good company, because even giants like Goldman Sachs, Warren Buffett and Michael Porter are struggling with their small business launch targets. And they’ve got a $500 million bankroll for their venture, which is called “10,000 Small Businesses”. The challenge of seeding entrepreneurship is greater than expected.

Our current white paper is The Time/Support Conundrum – it details the reality that our ventures either take a lot of time (the bamboo farms take four years) and not much ongoing support – or vice versa.

Simple small businesses that can be replicated again and again are possible. In fact, we challenge any doubters to take us up on this offer: Let Duff show any non-believer how any homeless person can make over $100 in their very first day with just a bit of encouragement – using any of the proven little businesses found here under ‘kits’.

The trouble is that our experience shows that the new entrepreneur doesn’t keep at it for long after his initial success.


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