If i have to believe the local stories, the number of millionaires that have sprung up in Nepal since the earthquake is staggering, and saddening. Money that has been sent to help has often stayed in circles of people who do not need it, but took advantage of their connections. Whereas people who do need a helping hand where/are literally left in ruins. Conversations I have had here have reinforced my belief and feeling that foreign aid, donations and government are not the way to help the Nepali peoples (and likely other underdeveloped economies).
Trying to better understand the current needs, I spoke with several local business owners and an entrepreneurship lecturer. Lots of interesting insights but in terms of development, it all comes back to one thing; the need for more employment opportunities. Every day +/-2000 young workers leave Nepal for Malaysia, Qatar, UAE, etc. to join the labour force to earn money to sent back home to support their families. Knowledge and skills are literally flying out of the country. People leave because there are little to no opportunities in the cities or villages they come from. This is why I strongly believe (perhaps still naively so) that entrepreneurship is a way forward and out of poverty. If through entrepreneurship additional employment opportunities can also be created, it is one step closer to independence and a sustainable way of living.
- Postcard: May 2003 – Birthday card – sprout blooming up, time for new ideas and opportunities 😉
- Photo: September 2015 – Dulagauda – Employees of Suklagandaki Paper Company hard at work
- Inspiring book: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty through Profits – C.K. Prahalad