Founder and CEO of Nuru International
With Nuru International, Jake Harriman has developed a working model that provides rural communities with the tools to achieve self-sufficiency. By focusing on the practical, he’s helped enable the humanitarian and infrastructure elements that a thriving community needs, such as healthcare, education, agriculture, and water sanitation. Nuru mentors local leaders in the principles of leadership, mobilizes their community into groups, and creates and monitors projects that help identify, isolate, and demolish the factors contributing to extreme poverty.
During his military career, Harriman led his Marines on four operational deployments, including two combat tours in Iraq and disaster relief operations in Indonesia and Sri Lanka after the Asian tsunami. He was awarded the Bronze Star for actions in combat during his second tour in Iraq. Harriman came home from touring Asia, the Middle East, and Africa with a new mission: to eradicate extreme poverty. He enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) to build an organization focused on tackling extreme poverty. Harriman graduated with an MBA in June 2008 and, in the following September, led a team to launch Nuru International’s first seed project in Kuria, Kenya.
Jake Harriman graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1998, earning a B.S. in Systems Engineering. He then served seven and a half years in the Marine Corps as a Platoon Commander in both the Infantry and a special operations unit called Force Recon.
Ending Extreme Poverty: Helping Remote Communities Do It Themselves
How can we end the cycle of extreme poverty in the world’s most remote locations? In this talk, Jake Harriman tackles the problem of giving aid versus teaching communities how to do it for themselves. People don't need a hand-out. They need opportunities: opportunities to grow, to be self-sufficient, and to build a sustainable future. Harriman describes the goals and tactics behind Nuru, as well as its philosophy, which was forged during his time serving with the US Marine Corps in some of the neediest places on earth. It is possible to establish the foundations for sustainable revenue generation in any context, Harriman shows us. What's essential is involving the community in every step of the process—from discussion and decision to innovation and action.