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Submitted by Mike on
Great, on-the-ground perspective Joe! I find the importance and capabilities of small business to drive a community forward towards progress tend to be left by the wayside with political leaders in the United States and elsewhere. We will see if US President Obama, in his recent State of the Union Address, will be able to help the small businesses in the US make a come back as he proposes to do with investments and tax credits. I am no expert on development, but from the tidbits I have collected from newspaper articles or interviews that it is often these entrepreneurs that can lead the charge. In developing nations or poorer areas of a nation, these incredibly creative and unique individuals have the ability to strengthen their community’s economic landscape. Microloan programs (which the author of this blog introduced me a few years ago) have created new opportunity and in many cases significantly increased an entire village’s standard of living. Not to mention the incredible repayment rates. In another instance, comedic news journalist, Jon Stewart, in October of 2009 interviewed William Kamkwamba on his program. William had successfully built a windmill from scrap pieces around his village to provide a source of electricity. These are the people we need to be finding, funding, and allowing to succeed. I agree with the first commenter that it is the “political donations,” or simply bribes and waste, that reduce a lot of the great work down by the entrepreneurs, like Sushant. Somehow the cycle of waste and corruption must be broken for these investments in local businesses to succeed. How to do that?...I leave up to the real experts in this field.