Erik Schultz of Hailey was honored Thursday at the White House as one of 11 “Champions of Change.”
Schultz is the founder of Thriive, a nonprofit based in Sun Valley, which uses a blend of capital and compassion to invigorate small businesses and inspire a culture of social responsibility in challenged communities globally. He applies philanthropic capital to poverty-reducing initiatives that couple the free market with social and environmental justice.
Thriive makes loans to small farming and livestock operations, greenhouses, nurseries, and food processing businesses so they can grow. These small enterprises then “pay forward” their capital loans by donating food, livestock, seedlings, and crops to impoverished community members—making the entire chain of beneficiaries more self-reliant.
“Today’s champions are examples of the groundbreaking work being done to tackle hunger at home and abroad. These individuals are making improved access to healthy food a reality for millions of individuals in need,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan.
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Barack Obama’s Winning the Future initiative.