The Role of Entrepreneurship in Alleviating Poverty

The Role of Entrepreneurship in Alleviating Poverty | Robert Nienaber


We live in interesting times and while no one can say with any certainty what our future will look like, there is a bright star on the horizon. Africans in particular can take full advantage of the new normal where nations are increasingly looking inwards for resources.

Whether you see the post-COVID reality as one of despair or overwhelming opportunity, there is one undeniable constant which should guide us in our future ambitions.

That is – entrepreneurship is a vital key to alleviating poverty throughout the continent.

Entrepreneurs Generate an Income for Themselves

It may seem like a great idea isn’t worth the paper it’s written on, but when you do find someone who’s on the same page as you, it can be. Both banks and angel investors will be looking for ways to beat the impending slump, and they’ve got the funds to loan you.

Even if you manage to secure just a little money to get your business off the ground, and once you’ve achieved the necessary licenses, etc., you’re out of the starting blocks. Start small – period.

Every sale you make is more than you had before, meaning you can use the profits to inch your business forward one step at a time.

Another important thing to remember is that good ideas don’t judge, meaning anyone can come up with a lucrative business opportunity. An American study found that over 50% of entrepreneurs don’t have a degree, while 25% have no high school diploma.

While this isn’t a good reason to drop out of school, it does show that you can become an entrepreneur regardless of your educational background. So, if you’ve had to leave school for reasons beyond your control, you aren’t excluded from entrepreneurship.

In the same light, entrepreneurs determine their own pay cheque. For example, if you were to work as a gardener, you may earn a very small salary indeed, whereas, if you started a garden service business (doing the same work) the sky’s the limit.

When you’re earning a decent wage, you can afford to pay your bills, which benefits your suppliers and your creditors too.

Businesses Generate Income for Communities

Not only do businesses provide a relatively steady stream of income for the owner, but they also generate employment for local people. Local people who earn money are able to support other businesses in their area, who in turn can grow and employ more people. So, the knock-on effect continues.

Without a doubt, this process can evolve slowly, but evolve it does. So, if you’re thinking of starting a business of your own, it’s important to focus on starting small. Lofty ambitions will only lead to disappointment and demotivation.

Entrepreneurs Pay it Forward

There’s another startling difference between entrepreneurs and big business too. Most entrepreneurs come from less wealthy backgrounds, while big business is often handed down from generation to generation, or via the usual methods of executive succession.

In this light, entrepreneurs are more in touch with the needs of the people around them and have more empathy towards them. As a result, they are better able to address the real needs of charities in their area.

Successful small businesses can make a difference in their communities directly. That means none of their charitable donations are absorbed by necessary expenses like administration and transport, which is often the case with established charities.

Small local businesses are also better able to offer internships and on-the-job training to young people in their neighborhood without burdening their protégés with things like extra transport costs or long-distance travel.

Entrepreneurship Motivates People

Small businesses can also help to fight poverty on a psychological level. When people in your community see how you’ve built up your business, they start to believe in possibilities for themselves.

By inspiring others to take the leap of faith in starting their own ventures, your small business could have spin-off effects that stretch far wider than you ever imagined.

Get Inspired to Make a Difference in Your Community and Your Life

If you want out of your humdrum existence, don’t wait for government or other large organizations to create employment for you. Africa is filled with opportunities for the brave at heart.

It’s time to start considering how you can start the chain of events that lead to better circumstances for all. Keep reading our blog for more advice and information on entrepreneurship and how to get started.


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