Clarity Project Social Enterprise is a Finalist in DailyCandy Competition

Online magazine DailyCandy has launched the “Start Small, Go Big” contest in celebration of its tenth anniversary. Small businesses were encouraged to submit information about why they are the "next big thing." After combing through a large field of entries, DailyCandy has narrowed down the list of contestants to just 16 small businesses. The winner of the contest will receive a write-up by DailyCandy editors, attendance at the DailyCandy Academy, an invite to DailyCandy’s anniversary party (great for the networking entrepreneur) and $10,000.

Among the finalists is a social enterprise called the Clarity Project. The Clarity Project is a jewelry company that uses the proceeds from sales of fine jewelry to build schools in the communities in which the diamonds are mined. Dedicated to improving the quality of life for artisanal miners and their families, the Clarity Project sells jewelry made of fairly-sourced metals and diamonds and invests 100% of profits back into mining communities. The Clarity Projects funds microfinance programs and nonprofits that build schools, open health clinics, rehabilitate old mining land and engage in other development-related activities.

Clarity Project was born from three friends’ concern that purchasing engagement rings was contributing to the exploitative and damaging system of trade that is common in the diamond industry. With this in mind, Shane Rogers, Rachel Lichte and Jesse Finfrock began meeting with human right researchers, Fair Trade leaders, diamond miners, retailers, suppliers, traders, manufacturers and polishers. These meetings led them to conclude that many people were looking for a fair alternative that went beyond “Conflict Free.” To the Clarity Project’s founders, the “Conflict Free” movement was ineffectual and misleading, failing to support the most impoverished mining communities and lacking in transparency.

The Clarity Project seeks to create a market for precious jewelry that provides “honest luxury and shameless elegance.” Still in its start-up phase, the clarity project is an ongoing process that will seek to redefine the underlying value of diamonds, gems, and precious metals – as vehicles to help poor laborers support their families rather than line the pockets of wealthy executives. According the Clarity Project’s website, the organization has three goals: “Create beautiful, timeless jewelry to match the top jewelry, improve the quality of life for miners and their communities, and build a new type of sustainable business that can make first two goals possible.”

The Clarity Project, a certified B-Corporation, has made it to the final round of voting for DailyCandy’s “Start Small, Go Big” contest. To vote for the Clarity Project, visit the contest website. The Clarity Project is on Twitter as @ClarityProject.