Funding for-profits that address a pressing social need can be a promising way to have a positive social impact.
An example of a social enterprise that is regarded as effective within the effective altruism community is Living Goods. It supports a network of community health promoters that sell health products door-to-door and provide basic health counseling in sub-Saharan Africa. GiveWell lists it under the “Other Charities Worthy of Special Recognition” category, but recommends donating to Living Goods rather than investing in them.
Wiblin, Robert (2016) Doing good through for-profits: Wave and financial tech, 80,000 Hours, February 15.
A profile of the social startup Wave.
GiveWell (2014) Living Goods, GiveWell, November. An evaluation of the social enterprise Living Goods.