Douglas Racionzer

Ashoka Fellow
South Africa,
Fellow Since 2004
Sunstyle Holdings


This profile was prepared when Douglas Racionzer was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
In South African township communities where it is next to impossible for outside organizations or government agencies to function on a formal and effective basis, Douglas is tapping the corner store and other local businesses to become the foundation for community economic development and a hub for social services. Through Emerging Market Services (EMS) and other organizations, Douglas is giving neighborhood entrepreneurs the expertise and resources they need to expand their operations from mom-and-pop shops to real commercial enterprises, and at the same time using their position in the community to deliver needed services like HIV testing. By participating in Douglas’s effort, shop owners increase their earning potential, provide jobs for others in the community, and contribute to the overall well-being of the neighborhood.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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