I viewed this video link earlier today from President Obama’s visit to Kenya. I am pleased to know that the US President is a keen supporter of entrepreneurship in Africa. I think few people by now will be surprised by the fact that there is a high rate of corruption in the flow of finances that should be going to development aid. I lost track of the number of people I spoke to while travelling in East Africa who told me in person that they are not getting any help from the authorities, and who question what happens to the money that is transferred from the North to the South. According to many locals, governments simply do not care. While plenty enough people in the North are thinking that we are contributing continuously to poverty eradication, fighting diseases and assisting communities in need. I am not saying that everything is wrong with aid, or that we should cancel all aid. But something must be done. We need change.
Now would be a good time to wake up and smell the coffee.
Entrepreneurs employ themselves, in addition to giving other people jobs. Entrepreneurs are able to come up with solutions to cover local needs and by doing so, empowering individuals and local communities. Provided that they bring environmentally and socially sustainable solutions that support local communities, entrepreneurship makes the world go round. They contribute to poverty alleviation, ensuring that families are able to cover their subsistence needs and assist parents in sending their children to school. Socially responsible entrepreneurs think differently than entrepreneurs that have one main priority, which is to make profits, often with a lack of respect and disregard for local communities and environmental resoruces. As for instance the oil industry in a wide range of countries, including Peru, Angola, Nigeria and Canada.
At the end of the day, entrepreneurs also contribute to peacebuilding through their efforts of creating job opportunities and implementing creative solutions to local needs.
Let’s rethink development aid through entrepreneurship! Now.
The question is, will politicians provide the finances to develop entrepreneurship and businesses in the global South?? Because somehow, someone will have to lose power if local communities are going to gain some….