Founder: Steven Van Yoder
Poverty affects all of us. Name any issue -- climate change because of pollution, deforestation, the drug trade, illegal immigration, terrorism, AIDS -- all of them have roots in the growing economic challenges of the developing world. The more disparity there is between the well-off minority of the world and the needy majority, the more we gamble the future well-being of global society at large.
I traveled enough to know that even in a time of growing prosperity for the developed world, much of the world is being left behind. The gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots" is widening. Estimates say that 20% of the world's population control 80% of the world's wealth. One in five people on the planet make do on less than a dollar a day.
The problem of global poverty is too complex for any one interpretation. Yet, I believe that teaching entrepreneurship and small business marketing skills to people in the developing world can alleviate many of the world's problems. My overarching goal is to teach others what I, as a marketing consultant, take for granted.
GIVE hopes to inspire others to get on board and become part of a network of globally minded citizens and businesses that are willing to contribute to the project. There are many things that almost any individual or successful business can do to help others in need. Many times, all they need to do is contribute their knowledge to make a radical difference.
I believe that to tackle the issue of global poverty, an epic outreach among those in the developed world to those less fortunate is part of the answer. I'm not talking about a handout or charity. Rather, I'm suggesting that one of the best ways out of the growing problem of wealth disparity is by teaching those with very little how to build their own income streams, develop an entrepreneurial mindset, and essentially become masters of their own destiny.
This is about teaching people to solve their own problems, rather than imposing solutions from the outside. It's about hope, but hope combined with a concrete path.
I believe that if the marketing advice I espouse is applicable to small business owners in the U.S., Europe, and the other parts of the developed world, it should be equally applicable to those in the developing world.
Founder/Director, Global Initiative to Advance Entrepreneurship