The article argues that David Pilling is mistaken in his belief that large corporations are the solution to Africa’s poverty. Instead, micro-entrepreneurs have a significant impact in regions where big businesses may not reach. The World Bank emphasizes that extreme poverty persists in remote, often conflict-ridden areas – exactly where smaller enterprises can thrive.
Empirical evidence supports the transformative potential of programs aimed at addressing extreme poverty. For instance, teaching business skills in these communities leads to a significant increase in household incomes, with annual consumption rising by over 80% and savings by up to 900%. Randomized control trials show positive effects on diet, health, and the ability to save for the future. Shameran Abed and Esther Duflo also highlight the long-term success and scalability of such approaches.
Taddeo Muriuki, Chief Government Relations Officer at Village Enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya, argues that the path to ending extreme poverty in Africa is not a single approach but rather a comprehensive strategy that integrates proven methodologies with the development of larger businesses. This approach aims to create a resilient and inclusive economic landscape across the continent.