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Bono: Entrepreneurial capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid

It’s been 10 months since Abby and I were in Ethiopia. We’re still maintaining many of the friendships we started and providing support. Since then our family has undergone some big changes which I’ll share more in future posts.

Through all this God’s sustained us and we’ve come through this process trusting there’s a greater plan. I feel grateful.

For new readers, the purpose of our project is help orphans and sustain families (prevent more orphans due to poverty) in Ethiopia. Long term, we want to see more orphans be domestically adopted and stay in their birth country. This requires a holistic strategy, resources and committed people to developing solutions. 

I’ve thought a lot about how to approach this huge issue and asking myself this question? What’s the best way to help people get out of the cycle of poverty? Is it sustainable work (work skills, education?) or is it business development and entrepreneurship? I think it’s both.

To underscore why, I like this blog post,  “Capitalism takes more people out of poverty than aid” which features Bono (yes, the rock star) who is putting a huge investment into raising support and develop businesses in Africa. In the following video he explains why. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAjKyEGDlXA

In the video, Bono states,  “Aid is just a stopgap… Commerce [and] entrepreneurial capitalism take more people out of poverty than aid. We need Africa to become an economic powerhouse.”

This aligns with part of our vision to help business development (think small businesses growth) in Ethiopia by empowering young entrepreneurs who will ultimately have a positive impact on families (who need jobs to prevent more orphans) and orphans (funding local adoptive families) in the community.

I’m looking to connect with like-minded  entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to make difference in the life of a new entrepreneur in Ethiopia (not necessarily with your checkbook) with your business talents, wisdom and life experience. If this describes you, contact me here or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Source:  

The Beacon: The Blog of The Independent Institute.

The work solution to helping care for orphans

What is the best way to lift people out of poverty and help orphans? I think part of the answer isn’t more aid, it’s sustainable work.

Ethiopia needs economic development. Currently, the Ethiopian economy is almost all agriculture (accounting for 80% of employment) but radical deforestation combined with period’s drought and is a major cause of extreme poverty.

We want to help business development (think small businesses growth) by empowering young entrepreneurs to ultimately have a positive impact on orphans in the society.

This morning I read Levi Benkert’s post on, “Poverty, and the War We Can’t Afford to Loose“. In it, he shares a story of offering a poor woman they had aided for almost a year an opportunity to start a business with funding. She refused.

This was an offer for her to climb out of poverty and make enough money to get her children into a good house, and even help put three meals on the table each day.

I can’t understand why a person who has lived her life in poverty and offered a way out (via a business they are capable of running) would refuse this gift?

I’m naive about poverty because I’ve never been poor. I’m not sure if this woman would have responded differently if she were offered a job instead of a business. Only God knows.

I know from experience that many people are willing to work but few are ready to start and run a businesses. So that brings me to a question that I’m praying about…

What’s the best way to lift people out of poverty? Is it sustainable work or is it business and entrepreneurship? I think it’s both.

Part of our vision to help business development (think small businesses growth) in Ethiopia by empowering young entrepreneurs who will ultimately have a positive impact on potential families (who need jobs) and orphans (funding orphanages) in the society.

I read this Harvard Business Review article, “The Microwork Solution” and I think they are on to something.

“The social entrepreneurs in the new “impact sourcing” industry believe the answer is providing work, not aid. Their organizations hire people at the bottom of the pyramid to perform digital tasks such as transcribing audio files and editing product databases. Essentially, they do business process outsourcing that also boosts economic development.”

I’m not aware of anyone in Ethiopia doing something like this but I hope to find someone while we’re there. I’m praying for wisdom. If you have ideas or resources, please let us know.

Resources:

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations