Is Entrepreneurship the Best Way to Escape Poverty?

WHO data showed that approximately 1.2 billion people in the world live in extreme poverty with less than one dollar per day to live, resulting in an unhealthy life around the world. As mentioned by the WHO, the most common causes of poverty are lack of jobs, lack of education, and high unemployment level. These reasons make the poor not having food to eat and living in an unhealthy environment.  

But why should we care about the poor?

Many people might think that the poor are typically lazy, unintelligent, or even parasitic individuals. They do not put enough hard work to solve their own problem. No wonder, the society often blames them for their inability to improve their life. While the fact is, many of them might have already tried their best but failed because they don’t possess the power of money or the right education to land a decent and better job.

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The first noticeable reason why you should care about poverty is that the poor are associated with a host of health risks, including elevated rates of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, mental illness, flu and many more that directly or indirectly can affect every person life. A study by Philip Kotler and Nancy R. Lee cited that the poor are more prone to illness and health problems which can travel at a breakneck speed. It might take decades for AIDS to spread but the bird flu showed signs of doing that in months. Other than that, poverty can also greater the number of crime, be our source of untapped market potential and increase the risk of illegal migration. Living in poverty can also increase the chance of higher violence and increasing conflicts, commonly known as “failed states”.

“The children who suffer poverty’s effects are not its only victims. When children do not succeed as adults, all of society pays the price.” – 

How do we help the poor, then?

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese Proverbs

To alleviate poverty, one must examine and upgrade the policy to reduce the number of poor households. Additionally, there should be at least some broad strategies that can be employed to reduce poverty on a national, state, and local level. For instance, there is a need to create enough adequately paying jobs that can support individuals and families above the poverty line. This includes initiatives such as raising the minimum wage to a living wage, increasing the earned income tax credit, and stimulating the creation of good quality job.

Moreover, the poor themselves should be aware of their condition and put more work on their efforts to escape poverty. But of course, these efforts should be supported by society and the government by increasing and providing more decent job to boost the chances of employment.

All of this, thankfully, can be created by increasing the number of entrepreneurship.

A study by Shefiu Raheem found that the presence of more small businesses and entrepreneurship can improve job creation of employment opportunities, bring a marginalised youths back into the economic mainstream, address socio-psychological problems and delinquency that arise from joblessness, bring about the acquisition of new skills and experiences that could be employed, and so forth. In addition, most economists today agree that entrepreneurship is a necessary ingredient for stimulating economic growth and employment opportunities in all sectors. That being said, the opportunity is already answered by the presence of the right entrepreneurs. By being an entrepreneur, you can create better job and employ those who are living under poverty. Thusly, not only can you create a better life for yourself, but you can also improve the quality of others’ lives.  

“Poverty is not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the actions of human beings.” – Nelson Mandela

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