Mobile Technology’s Role in Combating Global Poverty and Enabling Entrepreneurship
According to the World Bank, nearly one-quarter of the global population lives at or below the poverty line of $1.25 per day. The world’s poor experience barriers to lifting themselves out of poverty because of the lack of access to capital to start small businesses and build personal savings. Yet with the growth of mobile technology, there are now new avenues for individuals to improve their economic circumstances, make monetary transfers, arrange for microfinance loans or establish small enterprises.
On May 16, as part of the Mobile Economy Project, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum to investigate the barriers to using mobile devices to conduct business in the developing world, explored how mobile devices enable individual entrepreneurship and small business development and examined mobile technology’s role in alleviating global poverty.
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics - Tufts University
General Manager, Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) - Inter-American Development Bank
Portfolio Manager, Strategic Initiatives - Kiva
Co-Founder and CEO - Eko India Financial Services Ltd.
I’ve seen some pretty awful poverty. [But] There is something about poverty in the U.S. that is worse, even though, materially, people have more.