Throughout my studies at Clark University and American University, it has become apparent that foreign aid has had mixed effects on “lifting” counties out of poverty and/or into economic development. Many times foreign aid doesnt reach the people it is meant for due to corruption, greed, and/or inefficient distribution models. Not to mention, many countries have become relient on foreign aid and expect it year after year… I realize there are exceptions and I am not suggesting foreign aid is a complete waste of time/money. However, foreign aid (a top down approach) must be complemented with a “bottom up” approach to lift a country out of poverty and into sustainable economic development.
Entrepreneurship is rarely taught in developing countries. While this may be obvious, it is a big problem. Entrepreneurs are economic drivers. Entrepreneurship skills should be taught along side of reading and writing. In a country where many social/economic problems lay… the solution is in economics. To produce economics of scale people need to be taught the basics of building a business. If we take the principles and lessons we have learned from capitalism and the free market and apply them to social change. We can attack global problems and accomplish the same types of individual goals we had set forth in a capitalistic market but in a social way. Giving people these tools will lift the society as a whole over time and solve global problems.
Taking an individual approach to lifting a county out of poverty and into economic development will take time. Most likely a long time That is why teaching entrepreneurship must be complemented with foreign aid. Suppling aid to a country from the top down while teaching the basic skills of entrepreneurship on the ground floor, will lift a country out of poverty and into sustainable long term social/economic growth.