Glenn Toby rose from an early childhood of homelessness to become a successful businessman as president of marketing and management firm Glenn Toby Enterprises. Now he wants to help others who are homeless and impoverished. He has made a film called S.T.O.P - Solutions to Overcoming Poverty, which explores the root causes and effects of poverty on an international level.
Poverty is a global epidemic-- more than three billion people live on less than $2.50 a day and at least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. According to UNICEF, there are 2.2 billion children in the world and 1 billion (every second child) live in poverty.
S.T.O.P. is based on the premise that “education and compassion” can help battle poverty. Through his newly launched Glenn Toby Films, Toby produced the film along with Cammie Rice and Jay Douglas. Toby says the idea for the film was born from anti-poverty work he was already doing. “I have been fighting the disease of ignorance, poverty, hunger and homelessness for over 15 years through a foundation I created, The Book Bank Foundation. One night after serving the lost and forgotten during one of our programs in New York City called Shelter From The Streets, I realized that we have been documenting enough of our work to do a documentary film,” explains Toby. “The following year I made a conscious effort to document our experiences and my life work. That birthed my director career. I met an amazing filmmaker named Jay Douglas. He sent him my rough cuts of work, and he agreed to co-produce and edit the film for me. All of my years of footage told a greater story than any testimonial, website, mission statement or campaign to create awareness could ever do. We are in post-production now.”
Toby says he didn’t want to only illustrate the epidemic of poverty but to also discuss solutions in the film. “The purpose of the film is to create an awareness of how widespread poverty, illiteracy and homelessness are,” he says. “We have to not just discuss these issues, but we have a responsibility to find solutions for them. I firmly believe that this can happen, if enough people get involved and open their hearts.”
This film will be released in 2014.
Toby says he feels, as an entrepreneur, it is his duty not merely to give back but to cause change. “In my opinion, it’s essential for entrepreneurs to not just give, but be directly plugged into the local and world community issues and state of affairs. On a human level, it’s a mandate. As a business, it’s critical to be in the center of the exchange of not just commerce but the communication of your customers. What could be better than earning money and giving back as much as you receive? It’s a natural part of the human experience. Not to mention cause-marketing is expanding on a global level,” he points out.
Meanwhile, he is also busy developing Glenn Toby Enterprises. “We are continuing to discover, produce and manage talent in the world of entertainment and sports. Additionally, we are creating opportunities for these sectors using various intellectual, technological, commercial and entertainment platforms. All categories are open to us. We are not just focusing on musicians, actors, writers and athletes. In fact, a great part of our expansion has a major concentration in the new media and technology space,” says Toby.