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Women and Children: The New Small Business Owners in Developing Countries

As a general rule, when we think of businesses big or small, we think of storefronts, cash registers, items on racks, cafes, or maybe something cute and mobile—but in a trendy way (think food trucks). But in developing countries where traditional business opportunities are either dwindling or simply haven’t ever really been there, mamas, youngsters, and single women are heading the pack in the world of micro and small business. The most interesting part is the outrageous range of imagination these little (literally in some cases) business owners have: from portable shuffleboard rentals to mobile eateries and cleaner places to go potty, these minority groups are growing fast with innovative ideas that range from entertainment to agriculture and yes, even technology and smartphone apps.

A lot of this shift has occurred because of newfound availability of technologies like the Internet and
accessibility to the “outside world” by way of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. But these super-microbusinesses are beginning to really take a foothold in their communities, which means overall, a tremendous opportunity for economic growth on the larger scale as well. With that said, these itty-bitty ventures do still need seed money, though the amount is so little it would make American bankers chuckle: a mere few hundred bucks or less can get these tiny operations off the ground, and after that, because of the level of ingenuity and sheer willpower the people in this demographic have, most of the time, they are successful, even if it’s one tiny transaction at a time to begin.


For future generations in the developing part of the world, this bodes very well—for decades the rule of thumb has been, “If you can’t grow crops, you will live in abject poverty.” Not anymore. The world is growing plenty of food—how that food is disseminated across the planet is a whole other issue, and starvation should by now be an epidemic of the past. Nonetheless, the women and children of impoverished nations are growing up in big ways, and in many cases, both women and children are now becoming the primary breadwinners in their homes with their carts, apps, and portable whatchamahoozits.

Of course, it is simply amazing what these people are doing, how well they are doing it, and how fearlessly they are putting themselves out there, seemingly completely fearless of failure. Very few first-world people would have the moxie to make entrepreneurial moves like these—to just sit up one day and say, "You know what? I've decided I'm not going to be poor anymore. I will change that starting today." While we US-based small business and those of us who are a little too rattled by the idea of failure, we should take a page from these burgeoning businesses' books. But we can also help them succeed in ways that may seem counterintuitive. For example, rather than donating money to a global fund to feed the hungry, look instead for ways to invest in these small businesses by crowdfunding, giving our money instead to charitable organizations that create better infrastructure, and those that bring your donations into the classroom rather than the dinner table. By supporting education and roads, for example, you’re making it possible for such small businesses to grow even more and you’re assisting in there being a way for more consumers to have their wares or services accessible to them. As the old adage goes, if you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. For microbusiness owners who are in their tween years to single mothers offering up fresh homemade fare at bargain prices so others can eat while they turn a modest profit, the world’s smartest and most creative entrepreneurs are no longer just Millennials in hoodies—they are women and children of color that dot the globe, taking their financial future into their own hands—handouts are on the endangered species list, and microloans are on the rise.
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8 comments :

  1. This is very good information.
    I agree to go down to the small businesses who will really use the money instead of putting it in big corps and it just dissolve into thin air.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small businesses are the bread and butter of many folks, and they are what makes the world strive for better. Big businesses once start small.

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  2. I read about this somewhere! Small children owning small businesses, that is amazing to me and it shows how little drive grown adults have in our country! These kids are learning the hard way and so are some of these women in the countries where they aren't even allowed to go to school!

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    Replies
    1. The internet has created opportunities where age isn't a factor. A ten year old can do business over the internet and be paid for it.

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  3. I was just talking about how smartphones have really make an impact on our lives and then I read this article and it backs that statement up. I have always supported small business and it's good to see that it' alive and well all over the world.

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    Replies
    1. Yes. I think the internet has enabled a lot of people who might have not been able to have a business, such as handicaps. This is a great piece of article on how small businesses can prosper with an idea.

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  4. I truly admire but many of those micro-businesses will fail and eventually those women and kids will have to return the loans or investments. How do they plan to deal with the growing number of the failed projects or companies who were unable to survive taxes and competition??

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  5. We can't go into a small business because we don't have such a mindset, and I am not talking about being poor or hungry, but a mindset in general. People are not interested to get their hands dirty.

    ReplyDelete

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