Entrepreneurs working in emerging economies are known as the real change agents, the job creators, the social innovators. They are responsible for 80% of the new jobs created every year, and for figuring out last-mile challenges in the process. According to the World Bank:
Growth-oriented entrepreneurs are the backbone of local economies. They create new jobs in high-value sectors, like climate technology, agribusiness, and digital innovation, while also extending access to products and services — such as mobile banking and medicine — to poor or remote communities.
[As an example] In Jamaica, farmers lose a significant portion of their produce to spoilage because they lack direct access to the markets. Instead, they must haggle about prices with middlemen, resulting in increased costs and delays. To address this inefficiency, Jamaican entrepreneurs Jermaine Henry and Janice McLeod developed AgroCentral, a mobile app that matches farmers with buyers in the hotel and restaurant trade. The result? Greater revenue for farmers, lower prices for buyers, and reduced waste.
And while many people hero entrepreneurs for their inspiring work, others recognize that entrepreneurship is incredibly challenging.
Being an entrepreneur in resource-strapped economies makes it even harder. In the article Celebrating Entrepreneurship and Agents of Change in Developing Countries, Ganesh Rasagam shares that
…Entrepreneurship is not a smooth path — particularly in developing countries, where funding and mentorship are scarce. Entrepreneurs require assistance at the individual level — with technical training, market research and financing…
Ganesh Rasagam is not alone in recognizing this challenge. In fact, the World Economic Forum and ANDE have issues reports that behind access to capital, a lack of access to talent is the leading barriers to progress.
At MovingWorlds, we see a countless number of social enterprises and startups requesting all kinds of skills in order to help grow: Design, business, operations, human resources, engineering, and software development to name a few.
So at this year’s GEW, do more than follow along. Think about the resources, connections, and talent that you have, and then figure out how to contribute those to the greater good. If you’re interested in volunteering your skills with startups, here are 4 world-changing reasons to volunteer with startups.
Fostering global entrepreneurship isn’t the cure to all of the world’s challenges, but it will empower and help develop people that are doing the most to solve them.