Help Entrepreneurs Save the World

August 10, 2015

Go to www.EntrepreneursUnite.com and sign

By Elizabeth Gore, Entrepreneur in Residence, Dell Inc

When you think of the word “entrepreneur” who pops into your mind?  Richard Branson?  Michael Dell?

I’m guessing it’s not Sarah Collins from South Africa.  Sarah is building her business, Wonderbag, to transform the way cooking is done in rural Africa where respiratory problems from traditional cookstoves is killing thousands every year.

When I think of entrepreneurs I think about lifesavers.  Humanitarians. Women.  Job creators for the world’s poorest and most deprived.  We need to think beyond the stereotypes of the billionaire entrepreneurs and consider the innovators who will create the 600 million new jobs that need to be created over the next decade to employ the eligible workforce and help assuage the global jobs crisis that lies ahead.  Today, 200 million people around the world are unemployed and the structural issues that propel the problem are compounded by the projected population growth of the workforce in the next 15 years.

EU_infogrpahic_3-01The majority of large corporations and governments are not growing at the same rate as the population.  Therefore the responsibility to combat the pending job crisis will be incumbent on smaller businesses led by, you guessed it, entrepreneurs.

If entrepreneurs are the ones who might save the world, they also need our help.  So what can be done?  First, we need governments to recognize the power of entrepreneurs and introduce or maintain policies which support them.  This is why we’re so passionate around the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 which supports job growth and innovation.  By passing Goal 8 in September, the UN representatives will send a clear message back to their governments around the world to prioritize support for small businesses and entrepreneurs through things like training, education, infrastructure and security.

Sarah Collins, Founder of Wonderbag. Photo by Nick Ferreira

Corporations and banks can do their part, too, and with increased funding, entrepreneurs like Sarah can expand their business and have a positive impact on more people.  Entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs, need access to bank loans, venture capital funding, angel funding and crowdfunding.  It takes everyone to make a difference, from the public to private sector. Already large corporations like Dell, MasterCard and Unilever, among many others are paving the way for a new kind of corporate social responsibility that creates lasting change beyond philanthropy.

So what can you do to ensure the UN, NGOs and governments prioritize entrepreneurship?  We are currently trying to capture 100,000 signatures in support of Goal 8 at www.entrepreneursunite.com. Join me as we support our entrepreneurs. Please put your signature where it counts and share with your networks. And YOU will be helping entrepreneurs save the world!

Elizabeth Gore is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Dell, where Gore drives initiatives that support Dell’s goals around helping small and medium businesses scale and prosper, fueling the expansion of global entrepreneurship, thereby creating jobs that will drive the world economy. Gore is extending Dell’s global advocacy efforts to raise entrepreneurship to the public policy agenda, encouraging policies and practices that support and enable entrepreneurial growth globally.

 

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