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Daughters of the Declaration: How Women Social Entrepreneurs Built the American Dream by David Graham Burnett, Claire Gaudiani

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SIX
A Market-Based Social Enterprise Solution1
A depository could hardly be called a charity, as nothing is given for its equivalent. Alms are not offered, or indeed even thought of . . . only work is given.
—Minutes of the Philadelphia Depository, 1840
 
 
 
 
The loss of fortunes was an all-too-common event in the freewheeling new nation. With unlimited opportunities came high levels of risk and instability. Horace Greeley (the fellow who said “Go West, young man!”) observed:
Many who dance in jewels one year are shivering in garrets the next. It was but a week ago that a respectable woman reduced from competence to poverty by sudden calamity, traversed the street of our city for three days in search of food.... Such scenes are occurring daily ...

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