Encouraging business opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid
The current trend in international development is to encourage sustainable business creation within developing nations. Capitalism for the poor is the new “cool” for those who see entrepreneurial efforts as a way to build a nation toward economic security.
We have observed that business development can be leveraged to benefit more people and to grow prosperity more organically.
Even the US government is getting on the business creation bandwagon in targeted regions of the world. Resent comments from Dr. Rajiv Shah of USAID suggested that development work “should prioritize broad-based, sustainable economic growth that can boost incomes, create jobs, and reduce poverty…”. These goals are a part of USAID’s push for “Enlightened Capitalism” among its development partners.
Dr. Shah is leading the move to create business ideas that will take the agency in a new direction and encouraged the development community to “embrace a new wave of creative, enlightened capitalism” that connects profit, wealth and development. He continued: “I’m talking about helping support the work of markets that can deliver profits and create opportunities for women, minorities and the poor. We must partner with the private sector much more deeply from the start, instead of treating companies as just another funding source for our development work.”
In an era of tight budgets and a lack of American jobs it is hard for the USAID to push a new agenda forward. But opportunities to partners with American industry in capitalist activities would be great for both the developing nation and the US economy. Foreign governments should take advantage of the American business resources to leverage this trend toward enlightened capitalism.
Speaking on the benefits of using US business expertise, the director suggested that foreign leaders should “ask us to serve as connectors to American ideas. And best of all, transferring ideas enriches us both, creating new markets for American goods and services and new jobs for American workers”.
USAID should continue to explore business partnership opportunities in each of the developing nations. We support the plan that allows businesses to share ideas for the benefit of a capitalism among the developing nations. We are happy to partner with USAID to create these new-found profit centers for the world’s poor.