Ruthless affordability is part – a big part – of the business solution to poverty. But the market is so huge – 2.7 billion living on $2 or less. Apple made dramatic products going after the “high end” market. If companies go after that low end market with great innovation, persistence, determination and hard work; they can develop customers and fans at all levels.
I’ve spent a lot of time – about a month roughly – reading and marking up “The Business Solution to Poverty,” then reviewing the marked up version with more marks and highlighted and finally on the third time through doing my book review. After doing the book review I went back through it almost two times.
I really believe in the basic premise of the book – that business is the only way to conquer extreme poverty and, for that matter, most any kind of poverty.
We are in The Innovation Age and we must innovate – in business, government, religions, and every human entity. But, at the same time, we must not let the wisdom-associated values go and we must rid ourselves of the negative values.
I sincerely believe that $2 or less per day poverty can be defeated, and the way to do it is through capitalism, free enterprise or business – whatever you choose to call it. It won’t be easy.
So many very good and charitable people have given their lives to help the poor. But business can help them help themselves. It is very basic. The receiving human of charity or government aid just doesn’t respond in a way that allows him or her to elevate themselves.
Somehow, we must use our own time and money to move toward prosperity. What is missing are corporations that seek profits at all levels – from the customer to the corporation itself.
“Profit” is not a bad word. It is the only thing that can allow the poor to “profit” themselves and allow businesses to sustain growth to help other “customers.”
And “customers” is the right word. The poor should not be an object of pity, but rather as fellow human beings for business to present profitable opportunities. It can be done, but it won’t be easy.
Multinational corporations may risk their reputations in the ventures proposed in this book. But look at the reward, not only in profits from the poor, but profits to the poor. And, amazing public relations victories within the corporations and all their customers and potential customers. It might be the best advertising dollars ever spent for so many really insightful corporations.
We are one human race and we must help each other – not so much with self-defeating handouts but with thoughtful business with both goodwill and a real profit in mind for all.
The 2013 world GDP is approximately $75 trillion according to the book. But the global South is, in a way, the focus of a lot of well-meaning people. Let’s get it right this time – not to try to play “hero” to the poor – but to help them help themselves through profits.
I have real concerns about the United States and how government aid is multiplying, unwed mothers number about 40 percent, and a lack of basis competence in our government – especially the Presidency.
The future is all we have ahead of us. We must take care of that precious element of our existence. The future is only known by God. All the humans – me included – must peer as clearly as we can toward Heaven on Earth.