Based on his 25 years of experience, Polak explodes what he calls the "Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths": that we can donate people out of poverty, that national economic growth will end poverty, and that Big Business, operating as it does now, will end poverty. Polak shows that programs based on these ideas have utterly failed‹in fact, in sub-Saharan Africa poverty rates have actually gone up.
These failed top-down efforts contrast sharply with the grassroots approach Polak and IDE have championed: helping the dollar-a-day poor earn more money through their own efforts. Amazingly enough, unexploited market opportunities do exist for the desperately poor. Polak describes how he and others have identified these opportunities and have developed innovative, low-cost tools that have helped in lifting 17 million people out of poverty.
"Out of Poverty by Paul Polak, offers optimism. Optimism not just for those fighting poverty and those fighting to get out of it, but for any company interested in a basically untapped 1 billion-person market." — Jessie Scanlon "February 22, 2008; BusinessWeek"
Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)
Meet the Author
Polak is the founder of the Colorado-based non-profit International Development Enterprises (IDE). His newest project is D-Rev, a non-profit that seeks "to create a design revolution by enlisting the best designers in the world to develop products and ideas that will benefit the 90% of the people on earth who are poor...."
Introduction: Learning to Do the Simple and Obvious 1
Twelve Steps to Practical Problem Solving 13
The Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths 27
It All Starts with Making More Money 51
Design for the Other 90 Percent 63
From Subsistence to New Income 83
Affordable Small-Plot Irrigation 95
A New Agriculture for One-Acre Farms 115
Creating Vibrant New Markets That Serve Poor Customers 137
Slums - The Incubator for New Income Opportunities 159
Poverty and the Planet 171
Taking Action to End Poverty 183
Bahadur and His Family Move Out of Poverty 201
About the Author 230
About IDE 231