Saturday, September 20, 2008
Much attention in this country is given to the amount of financial aid that we and other developed countries give to developing nations – particularly in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals. So it should be. However, financial support is only one part of the equation. It is also essential that people in developing world receive the training and support necessary to create sustainable businesses that can make them self-sufficient and in charge of their own destiny.
Many NGOs and even for-profit companies are working on this. Micro finance is a big business – made famous in part by 2006 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner (along with Grameen Bank) Muhammad Yunus in his book, Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty (btw, his latest book is calledA World Without Poverty).
Yunus and Grameen Bank deserve a post of their own. However, I write today to tell you about Technoserve, whose mission is to “help entrepreneurial men and women in poor rural areas of the developing world to build businesses that create income, opportunity and economic growth for their families, their communities and their countries.” They live into this mission by focusing on three practices:
• Developing Entrepreneurs
Identify and train aspiring entrepreneurs.
• Building Businesses and Industries
Help build thriving enterprises and industries, linked to dependable markets.
• Improving the Business Environment
Promote progressive business practices and a supportive business environment.
Technoserve was founded in 1968. In 207, they helped 706 businesses to achieve sales of $149 million. That’s quite a success story! Currently, they partner with such corporate titans as Google.org, Microsoft, Lenovo, Cargill and others. They also receive substantial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and USAID. I encourage you to read more about Technoserve by clicking here.
Posted by Greg Cole at 9/20/2008 08:11:00 PM