Success Story

Textbooks for Change

10/27/2016
Textbooks for Change collects textbooks from North American campuses and redistributes them to East Africa.

In 2013, Chris Janssen travelled to a Rwandan university and noticed a lack of educational resources available to students. Together with his former Western University business school classmate, Tom Hartford, he founded Textbooks for Change, a social enterprise and B Corp that collects textbooks from North American campuses and redistributes them to East Africa. 

Out of the thousands of textbooks collected annually, 50 per cent are donated to partner campus libraries in East Africa, 20 per cent are sold online to students at affordable prices, and 30 per cent are recycled. Proceeds help support student-led social initiatives. 
OCE’s SmartStart funding helped the team launch their first collection drive in April 2014. In 2015, they began working with Toronto-based SAMETRICA to measure and assess impact, supported by the Ontario Social Impact Voucher (OSIV) Program. 

Textbooks for Change currently operates on 26 Ontario campuses and has donated over 100,000 textbooks to African universities. The team is focusing on expanding across Canada and the US. 

Return on Innovation

  • Employs 15 full-time and five part-time employees
  • Has provided over $115,000 for Canadian charity and student-led initiatives

OCE©2016 Last updated 10/2016