The global Covid 19 pandemic is not only creating a loss of life and jobs, it is also widening the gap between rich and poor as it catalyzes opportunity for a growing number of PPE (personal protective equipment) billionaires. Seeing an opportunity and doing business is a good thing–but not when markets become inefficient and limited to so few. Something has to change to give small and medium sized companies (SMEs) and business people without billions of dollars to invest a chance to compete. Is it possible to create an inclusive economy where most play a fair game? Is there something you can do to make this happen?

The current PPE market is an exclusive economy: Only people with influence and connection have access to PPE products as they are not openly traded but managed through an influence and referral network. If you are not “in”, you have no access.

Bigger players dominate the market. The minimum order sizes are getting bigger every week. Now, any order below 10 million units is considered too small for the manufacturers to bother fulfilling. Ten million boxes of nitrile gloves CIF US is over $100 million. That amount is out of reach for SMEs. Currently, in the PPE market, there is mega-scale wholesale and small scale retail, but nothing in-between.

Aster Impact is a nonprofit organization providing PPE access to SMEs, especially those entities that desperately need to purchase protective gear, such as:
• Schools: Children, especially younger children, have difficulty learning via online classes. Their attention span is limited, and they need to learn by doing, not by watching. They need social interaction. Learning social skills is one of the critical parts of education. Working parents need children at school.
• Nursing homes: The majority of eldercare and nursing homes are SMEs. The staff cannot keep social distance since those in their care need help with their daily chores: getting out of bed, getting dressed, eating, etc. The elderly and the staff who care for them are vulnerable and desperately need protection.

Aster Impact has created an online exchange that allows SMEs to connect with suppliers to fulfill smaller orders. Aster Impact helps bundle these orders and coordinate what has become very complicated logistics. In order for Aster Impact to help schools and nursing homes and also address the inefficiencies in the market, it needs additional partners, specifically:
1. A foundation or a conscious capitalist to work with us so that we can bring PPE products at wholesale price and distribute to SMEs at a reasonable price.
2. Government or foundation partners to work with us to bring transparency in PPE trade so that everyone can participate with equal opportunity, even small businesses.

The gap between the “haves” and “have nots” is getting wider than ever. This widening economic gap and lack of equal opportunities directly affects all of us. So please help Aster Impact by purchasing on its exchange and connecting us to the right partners.

Let’s work together to make the world a bit safer and a bit better. Do it today for us, our children and grandchildren!

Thanks! Leah