Our View of the World: Better Is Not Good Enough

By Till Wahnbaeck
March 16, 2021

The world is getting better. You don’t hear this very often, esp. these days with COVID and climate change pushing new disasters on us almost weekly. But, with the exception of environmental degradation, the history of the last few hundred years is a history of progress and improvement. Two hundred years ago, nine people out of ten lived in extreme poverty. Today, it’s less than one out of ten (read more here). In the 1960s, child mortality was at 25%. Today, it’s below 5%. And while 65% of girls attended primary school in 1970, today it’s more than 90% (read more here).

Still, even today more than 700m people worldwide live in extreme poverty, most of them in Africa south of the Sahara. The reasons are manifold: lack of education, war, corruption, existing power structures … Poverty is tenacious and often a vicious circle (read more here).

And yet the entrepreneurial drive in poor areas is enormous. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) the percentage of entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan societies is the highest worldwide (more about entrepreneurship in Africa). The International Labour Organization states that the potential to create direct jobs and indirect income opportunities of small and micro enterprises in the Bottom of Pyramid (BoP) is enormous (more about BoP here).

And this is where Impacc comes in. We don’t look at the poverty of people, we see their potential – helping them take the difficult first steps from dependence towards dignity. We invest in local businesses to become the job engines they can be, because when they are successful, they pay for themselves – long-term.  They create opportunities, build strengths and confidence and provide prospects. And when people have confidence and prospects, they aren’t forced to flee their homes. They – especially women – can and will invest in education, health and nutrition for their families. And thereby help break that vicious circle of poverty.

About Till Wahnbaeck

Till Wahnbaeck
Ex-CEO of Welthungerhilfe and private sector General Manager, champion of innovation. Till ran both for profit companies and a global NGO and has always strived to bridge the gap between the social and the private sector. As global CEO of Welthungerhilfe (a German food- and nutrition-security NGO with 2,500 staff in 40 countries and a budget of 250mio$), he championed innovation and impact. Previously, as Marketing, Sales and Innovation Director for consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, he built innovation methods and processes to rejuvenate P&G’s global salon portfolio.

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