Africa’s poverty problem is often overlooked, with the focus being on large corporations as the solution. However, a recent article by David Pilling argues that micro-entrepreneurs play a crucial role in regions that are often ignored by big businesses. The World Bank emphasizes the importance of addressing extreme poverty in remote and conflict-ridden areas, where smaller enterprises can thrive.
Programs aimed at tackling extreme poverty have been successful in transforming communities. Research has shown that teaching business skills in these areas can lead to significant increases in household incomes, resulting in higher annual household consumption and savings. Randomized control trials have also demonstrated positive impacts on diet, health, and people’s ability to save for the future. The long-term success and scalability of these approaches have been highlighted by Shameran Abed, executive director of Brac International, and Esther Duflo of MIT.
Tackling extreme poverty in Africa requires a comprehensive strategy that integrates proven methodologies with the development of larger businesses to create a resilient and inclusive economic landscape across the continent. Taddeo Muriuki, Chief Government Relations Officer at Village Enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya, emphasizes the importance of recognizing the impact of smaller enterprises in addressing poverty and advocating for a comprehensive approach to development in Africa.