Smiles for the People is a small company with a BIG vision.
After traveling the world and meeting people from all walks of life, we recognized the urgent need for a renewed effort to provide access to public health services across the globe. Oral health care is frequently viewed as inconsequential in the fight against poverty, but we see it differently.
Proper dental hygiene leads to better nutrition, more focus, increased capacity to ward off sickness, increased self-esteem, and more opportunity. Systemic and oral health are entirely interconnected. You can’t fully have one without the other.
We also think there is room in the space of business and charity for a new kind of organization. Smiles for the People is a for-purpose business. The purpose of the profit we earn is to sustain our development activities and expand our movement.
Our collective humanity calls all people to care for one another. In a world of increasing inequality and injustice, our purchasing decisions can, and too often do, lead to unforeseen and unwanted consequences. However, Smiles for the People exists because we believe a new kind of consumption (and a new kind of company) is possible. We believe that consumers can use their purchasing power to pursue a cleaner, healthier environment and help people lift themselves out of poverty.
That’s a bit of our story, but Smiles for the People can really be defined by a set of 5 Simple Values. They guide everything we do.
Our Simple Values
- 1. Put people first and profit second.
- 2. Be humble.
- 3. Lead the change.
- 4. Do more with less.
- 5. Grow.
This value is the cornerstone of our business. While Smiles for the People is legally structured much like a traditional company, our business model puts generosity at the center of all that we do. Every dollar we earn is invested in building a stronger, more generous company and enabling people to live healthier lives.
We are a part of a movement to help consumers turn their everyday purchases into acts of generosity towards people around the world. Along the way, we will make more than a few mistakes, and the humility to learn from those mistakes and persevere in a spirit of community with our customers, suppliers, competitors, and Giving Partners will make us stronger. Together, our movement will be amplified and expanded, allowing us to give more people the dental care they need.
The world is also changing rapidly, and we have to keep up for the sake of all the people around the world in need of dental care. It has been said that knowledge is power, and in the work of international development, knowledge not only means the difference between success and failure, but between poverty and prosperity. The humility to learn from all of our stakeholders will make us more effective.
We need new approaches to solve the world’s problems. This means taking risks, refusing to accept the status quo, keeping an open mind, and being ok with a mistake every now and again.
We believe that it is possible to create a world in which our everyday purchases serve as small acts of generosity, but this vision will only become reality when each of us takes seriously our responsibility to get creative and lead our communities toward the positive change we seek.
Success and generosity are not mutually exclusive aspirations. We always want to give more, and this requires us to find creative ways to be a more efficient company. There is always room for improvement in the way we work and give. In the end, if we can stretch a dollar further than before, we can reach more people with the gift of Smiles for the People.
A movement’s success depends upon its ability to grow. So does a company’s. We are committed to responsibly expanding our product line, our customer base, and our generosity over the long term. In the process, we hope our customers will partner with us to expand our movement to their friends, families, dentists, places of worship, schools, and companies.