BlueOrchard Transforming lives Through Impact InvestingFounded in 2001, BlueOrchard is a leading impact investment firm that specializes in supporting microfinance institutions and organizations that promote financial inclusion and reduce poverty around the world. Since its creation, BlueOrchard has invested $8 billion in more than 90 countries and has contributed to transforming the lives of more than 250 million people.

Impact Investing

Impact investing is a form of investing that seeks to create measurable social and environmental impact and financial profit. While traditional forms of investing often focus only on increasing profits, impact investing strives to inspire positive change in the world while also producing financial returns for investors. Impact investing takes many different forms. These include investing in microfinance institutions that provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, investing in renewable energy projects to fight climate change, investing in affordable housing companies, investing in education providers and much more.

Making a Difference

BlueOrchard’s mission is to promote financial inclusion for neglected communities and environments while simultaneously providing financial returns for investors by linking them to entrepreneurs around the world. One of the major impacts of this goal is poverty alleviation. BlueOrchard invests in a wide range of projects including providing loans to small businesses, renewable energy projects and educational centers.

BlueOrchard’s primary impact investments focus on supporting microfinance institutions (MFIs) that provide small loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries. These loans can help people
kickstart or expand their businesses, which can create a sustainable livelihood for those living in abject poverty. BlueOrchard has invested in many MFIs around the world, including the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) microfinance program which targets reducing poverty and water sanitation projects and FINCA Impact Finance which focuses on helping women in Central and South America, sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia.


It has also invested in MFIs that target diminishing gender disparities such as Japan’s ASEAN Women’s Empowerment Fund and Sonata Finance in India. This initiative provides loans to disadvantaged women across India. BlueOrchard also invests in education projects, and one example is the Regional Education Finance Fund for Africa (REFFA) which aims to improve access to primary, secondary and higher education across Africa.

Climate finance is another target area for BlueOrchard. It has created a climate insurance fund called InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) that has benefitted impoverished populations most vulnerable to weather volatility and climate change in developing countries. The organization also invests in renewable energy projects in India, helping to provide clean and affordable energy products, such as solar-powered sustainable lighting, that can stimulate social and economic development in the country.

By covering such a vast array of investment projects, BlueOrchard contributes to helping the United Nations meet 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Impact of BlueOrchard’s Investments

BlueOrchard’s impact investments have had a monumental impact on global poverty reduction. As of June 2021, the organization had provided financial services to more than 39 million people around the world. It has helped create and sustain more than 156 million jobs and has provided climate insurance to 25 million people. The organization has impacted some of the world’s most vulnerable populations including impoverished people, displaced people and refugees.

BlueOrchard is a leading global impact investment firm that is making a remarkable difference in the fight against poverty around the world. Through its investments in multiple sustainable development sectors including agriculture, gender inequality and renewable energy, it continues to demonstrate that financial profit and global change are not mutually exclusive ideas and can merge to create lasting change.

– Aemal Nafis
Photo: Flickr

Investing in Developing Countries
Investing in developing countries holds the power to enhance the lives of its citizens significantly. The right investments can improve infrastructure, provide access to essential services, increase amenities and boost overall human development. These investments positively impact health, education and economic opportunities.

Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA)

The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), which the African Development Bank (ADB) manages, serves as a prime example of the benefits of investing in developing countries. Established in partnership with the government of Denmark in 2011, SEFA provides catalytic finance to unlock private sector investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency, striving to increase access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services in Africa.

High-income governments and organizations have made contributions to SEFA. Through its efforts to develop green mini-grids, finance green energy programs and establish blended-finance initiatives for small-scale renewables, SEFA actively contributes to the growth of renewable energy in Africa.

This investment in renewable energy projects not only enhances access to energy and stimulates economic growth, but also generates job opportunities in developing countries. This helps raise living standards and reduce poverty, while also advancing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of “No Poverty” and “Affordable and Clean Energy.”

Increasing Efforts

High-income countries should increase efforts towards promoting economic growth, reducing poverty and inequality and closing the gap in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by investing in developing countries. Despite the growth of sustainable finance, most of it remains in high-income countries, leaving lower-income countries in need of funding. To bridge this gap, high-income countries should remove barriers to financing access in developing countries and allocate more financing towards SDG investments.

The U.N. Conference on Trade and Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predict that the “SDG financing gap could reach $4.3 trillion per year from 2020 to 2025,” a significant increase from previous estimates, according to OECD.

OECD expects the government revenue of developing countries to decrease in 2022 and 2023, especially for middle-income countries, resulting in a yearly decline of $95 billion and its recovery will likely be slow, potentially not reaching pre-pandemic levels before 2030.

Companies could reap numerous benefits from foreign investment in developing countries, such as increased competitiveness, favorable productivity spillovers, access to new technology, market expansion and improved workforce training and qualifications leading to higher wages and employment.

Investments in job creation and training could provide an economic boost to communities by creating jobs, driving demand for goods and services and enhancing the skills of the workforce. Furthermore, foreign investments could lead to improved infrastructure, access to basic services and amenities and overall human development.

Boosting the Integration

Investing in developing countries opens the possibility of boosting their integration into the global economy through the enhancement of foreign trade flows. The growth of international networks of affiliated enterprises and the growing significance of foreign subsidiaries in multinational companies’ strategies provide greater access to import and export activities. Thus, developing countries that embrace international trade are more likely to reap the benefits of foreign direct investment (FDI).

In today’s interconnected and globalized world, it is crucial for countries to take advantage of the potential of foreign investments in developing countries. By investing in these countries, companies can reap the benefits of economic growth and development while promoting sustainability for all. These investments provide access to new markets, resources, technologies and capabilities that drive economic growth, create jobs and build local infrastructure. Additionally, foreign investments are a key source of financing for sustainable development initiatives such as renewable energy projects or environmental protection programs.

By investing in developing countries, companies not only benefit from increased economic growth but also play a crucial role in global sustainability efforts.

– Nkechi First
Photo: Flickr

International Cooperation
The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the need for a different approach to reorganizing global governance in innovative and unexpected ways. The Global Public Investment (GPI) system is one of them. GPI is a fixed and multidirectional way to address the administration of international fiscal resources. The initiative follows three rules: “All contribute,” “All decide” and “All benefit.” The way GPI might revolutionize international cooperation is through the funding of global public goods and services such as vaccines and social security.

The Background

The proposal started to gain significant recognition as a consequence and response to the devastation that the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic brought upon the world in early 2020. The outbreak has reminded the world’s nations how susceptible they all are on an economic, social and biological level, emphasizing the need for global cooperation. Furthermore, as a reliable example, Europe demonstrated the potential for collaboration over common funds in the future, “through its regional development fund.”

In the lead-up to this moment, GPI’s most significant political push came from leaders in the Global South, outraged by the economic and social inequalities that the pandemic further emphasized.

Latin American countries were among the first to officially consider the implementation of GPI. Then, Africa followed and invited powers in the Western and Eastern world to work together more efficiently to solve challenges impacting the globe.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that COVID-19 led to the loss of $28 trillion in output and $17 trillion in response to the pandemic. Additionally, COVID-19 highlighted global disparities such as the underfunding of some health systems around the world.

An early 2022 press release from the U.N. Secretary-General said: “As we enter a new decade, we are finally bringing international public finance into the 21st century. No more “us and them”. Now it’s just “us.””

How GPI Works

The way GPI might revolutionize international cooperation has roots in its inner mechanism. The new system includes three pillars:

1. Universal Contributions: Instead of how donor countries give money to recipient ones, GPI is an “all-contributor approach to international public finance.”

2. Ongoing Commitments: GPI defies the assumption that countries are expected to “graduate after achieving a relatively low level of per capita income,” favoring a longer-term approach.

3. Representative Control: GPI asks for a more “democratic and accountable approach” to governing international public finance. All participating governments would determine the priorities of GPI.

The Global Public Investment would include percentages of participants’ gross national income by their capability. The same countries would consequently receive funds according to their need, including wealthier countries. As a result of the GPI, all countries would have equal shares in a common fund, promoting the development of a fiscal-cooperation among them.

Looking Ahead

The way GPI might revolutionize international cooperation depends on many factors, and one of them is the efficient and thorough application of this innovative system as well as the support of all nations.

International aid is still valid for solving many of the world’s economic inequalities. Combined with GPI, the new system would allow the world to go a step further in its fight against global poverty.

– Caterina Rossi
Photo: Flickr

Bangladesh’s Enhanced Investments
In May 2022, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, stated that Bangladesh is in need of enhanced investments from countries friendly with it and especially from the U.S. The country requests investments in an attempt to become a prosperous and developed country by its goal year, 2041. If the U.S. chooses to participate in Bangladesh’s enhanced investments, Bangladesh is choosing to diversify what it’s spending the investments on. At the pace they are currently going, Bangladesh will have graduated from being on the list of least developed countries (LDC) in the year 2026.

Usage of Investments

Hasina believes that Bangladesh’s enhanced investments are promising amongst investors due to its infrastructure. In addition to that, the government has eased the rules and regulations for businesses and investments that existed prior. The country recently implemented many development programs that help improve its livability. One major highlight is that recently, the entire country went under full electricity coverage, according to Dhaka Tribune.

Areas of Focus

More major areas of focus are water communication systems, roadways and railways. The government is also working on Bangladesh’s enhanced investments by creating zones for domestic and foreign investors throughout the country, with 100 unique economic zones set in the plan. According to Hasina, the government’s focus on advancing skilled manpower and the demographic dividend assures investors that Bangladesh’s enhanced investments will garner skilled human resources at vying wages.

Diversify the Investments

Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, AK Abdul Momen is requesting that U.S. businesses make more diverse investments that go further than just the energy sectors, such as the agriculture sector. Around 90% of current investments from the U.S. to Bangladesh fund the energy sector, which the country will continue to use and request more investment in it. The country is also ambitiously suggesting that the U.S. produces goods out of it as well. Entrepreneurs from the U.S. have also shown interest in Bangladeshi Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector as it has more than 650,000 freelancers in the country.

US – Bangladesh Relations

Jay R. Pryor, the Vice President of Chevron was staying in Bangladesh from May 7 to May 11, 2022 to explore U.S. – Bangladesh economic opportunities. During this visit, discussions occurred regarding many plans for Bangladesh’s enhanced investments. The U.S. delegation expressed its interest in investing in “Smart Bangladesh” after already successfully implementing “Digital Bangladesh” in the country. In addition, Salman F. Raman, the Prime Minister’s private sector industry and investment advisor expressed that Bangladesh’s agriculture industry can bring lots of success and is suggesting investors bring modern technology to the sector.

The Positive Outcome

The investments that the leaders of Bangladesh are urgently seeking can drastically improve the livability of the country. Bangladesh is now incorporating solar water pumps in its water industry in order to improve the water supply. As Bangladesh moves forward, it is steadily improving all sectors in its country making its goal of becoming a developed and prosperous country by the year 2041 a foreseeable reality.

– Christina Papas
Photo: Flickr

NFTs Can Fight Poverty
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the world by storm as an efficient way to invest and make a profit. In contrast to the also widely known cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, each NFT is one of a kind, with unique pre-installed code and data. NFTs are not in typical commercial transactions. They are more like art pieces that people can sell, trade or buy. Since bidders and buyers use crypto graphics as displays of wealth and to represent property rights, it might be surprising to think that NFTs can fight poverty.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet as an NFT for $2.9 million with the intention of donating the sum to GiveDirectly, a charity that supplies cash to various communities in extreme poverty around the world. Pioneering this wonderful use of the NFT, Dorsey conveyed his profits to the Africa Relief Charity through GiveDirectly in March 2021.

What is GiveDirectly?

Paul Niehaus, Rohit Wanchoo, Jeremy Shapiro and Michael Faye founded GiveDirectly in 2008. As the name might suggest, this organization provides direct money transfers to families in need worldwide, especially in African countries.

GiveDirectly operates in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, DRC, Togo and the U.S. So far, this program has distributed millions of dollars to 20,000 people within 197 villages and surveyed an extra 100 villages to act as a control group for research purposes.

On top of one-time donations, the charity offers various useful programs and opportunities. One of GiveDirectly’s most beneficial schemes is its Universal Basic Income program, through which willing donors may donate $1 per day per individual.

Donors have the option of supporting one individual, three individuals, 10 people or an entire village. Some recipients will collect ongoing payments for 12 years, making this a great giving opportunity for those who have just scored big with an NFT jackpot.

NFTs, Millennials and Charity

Most, if not all of the time, NFTs sell for large sums of money, leaving the seller with an instant and enormous growth in their wealth. NFTs typically range in price from almost millions to millions of dollars. According to Morning Consult, millennials are the generation most involved in collecting and selling NFTs; a shocking 23% of those involved in NFTs were millennials.

Additionally, millennials suffered the most financially from the COVID-19 pandemic because they also experienced the 2001 recession and the Great Recession. Between the Great Recession and the recession that the pandemic caused, millennials are no stranger to money shortages. They are either on an ongoing job hunt, just lost their job or are unlikely to see a raise. Consequently, it is no surprise millennials swiftly took advantage of the NFT money-making format.

Urging NFT sellers to give to reliable charities like GiveDirectly is thus one avenue through which NFTs could have a significant impact on global poverty. An increasing amount of millennials are telling miraculous rags to riches stories, similar to the stories of the most charitable celebrities and millionaires.

Since competitive bidding systems determine NFTs costs, it is easy to wait for an NFT to reach an exorbitant price. Mike Winklemann sold the most expensive NFT for $69 million. The craziest bids amount to sums the average millennial may never see in their entire lifespan.

Celebrities who come from humble beginnings are the ones who donate the most, most notably Brad Pitt and Kanye West. With this empathy toward the experience of living in a state of prolonged scarcity and uncertainty, along with Jack Dorsey and his sold tweet’s respectable example, more and more NFT sellers may use their gains to aid in fighting poverty.

How NFTs Can Fight Global Poverty

A rapidly increasing number of millennials and zoomers are gaining a keen interest in NFTs, so it is valuable to have conversations with peers about what the funds could go towards, such as charitable endeavors. The young populace in the United States should know that NFTs can help in the fight against poverty.

– Fidelia Gavrilenko
Photo: Flickr

Global poverty and social innovationAlthough the world was inching closer to eliminating global poverty prior to COVID-19, the pandemic’s lasting negative impacts exacerbated global poverty conditions all over the globe. COVID-19 was expected to push up to 115 million more people into extreme poverty in 2020, adding up to about 150 million by the end of 2021. However, there is hope for the resolution of global issues with the intersection of global poverty and social innovation. Stat Zero Ventures brings this intersection to life.

Stat Zero Ventures

With the prominent negative impacts of COVID-19 on poverty, the economy and ways of life, it is more important than ever to address the impoverished conditions that affect millions around the world. Combining entrepreneurship with issues of global poverty and social innovation, Marquis Cabrera, a leader in social innovation, launched a movement to accelerate progress toward poverty eradication.

Stat Zero Ventures uses innovative methods, including technology and venture capital, to aim for a world without poverty, pollution and diseases. Providing feasible solutions, the organization sponsors specific projects to accelerate these social goals. “Stat Zero Ventures invents, builds and invests in tech-enabled impact ventures” with the support of investors, international government agencies, celebrity offices and Fortune 100 companies.

Addressing Global Issues

Based in California, Stat Zero runs by the motto that “zero is the greatest number.” In other words, the company’s mission is to achieve a world with zero poverty, zero diseases and zero pollution. Through partnerships with a variety of organizations, Stat Zero supports impact ventures with diverse social, economic and environmental purposes.

At the intersection of global poverty and social innovation, Stat Zero unites governments with impact investors and social entrepreneurs who come together to solve pressing issues around the globe. Global issues of interest range from poverty alleviation to sustainability, with main focuses on “healthcare, energy, climate and sustainability, education, national infrastructure and social programs.” Thus far, Stat Zero has recycled more than 40 tons of plastic for carbon reduction and has given more than 100,000 people access to “digital medicine and finance” in the United States, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Extended Reach

Additionally, the organization has extended its reach to include the goals of zero illiteracy and zero inequality. When choosing to invest in a social venture, Stat Zero ventures looks at the financials of the partnering company, assessing potential risks, the feasibility of the intended solution and whether the venture aligns with the “zero” mission.

Stat Zero provides industry experience to government authorities in China, Switzerland, Canada and Mexico. This expertise guides advice on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG), investing in best practice strategies to rebuild local economies in these countries.

Technological Innovation and Global Poverty

Uniting challenges of global poverty and social innovation advances the ability to address issues of poverty, social equality and sustainability through creative outlets. Stat Zero forges strong technological partnerships with investment firms that allow for innovation of ideas that limit waste, build wealth and advance healthcare and educational access to those in poverty.

Advanced technology has the power to change the world, as seen over the last century of industrialization. Through greater access to information and resources as well as innovative, creative ideas, solutions are forged. With operations such as Stat Zero, partnerships have the ability to use advancements to achieve desirable social outcomes such as eradicating global poverty or increasing overall sustainability practices.

-Kylie Lally
Photo: Unsplash

The Benefits of Investing in Women
Gender equality, or rather a lack of gender equality, is not simply a historical problem. To this day, women all around the world face inequality. One of the most notable issues pertaining to gender inequality is the gender wage gap. Its impacts affect not only women but society as a whole. To end the gender wage gap and other inequalities, society must start to recognize the benefits of investing in women.

The Gender Wage Gap Explained

There are two types of gender wage gaps. The controlled wage gap refers to when a man and a woman have the same exact job in the same exact industry with the same exact qualifications. In this situation, as of 2021, women earn 98 cents per $1 that men earn. This seemingly small upfront difference builds up over time, and the pay discrepancy leads to very dissimilar outcomes for these two genders.

An uncontrolled wage gap is the second type. The uncontrolled wage gap refers to the overall difference between men’s and women’s wages. It does not matter what job it is, what industry one works in or if one works full- or part-time. The measurement takes into account how much each worker makes on average per hour each year. This gap is much more prominent—a woman makes 82 cents to a man’s $1 as of 2021.

Companies provide several “justifications” for why women receive less pay than men within the organizations, but actual reasons include employers’ implicit biases, a wage penalty that accompanies motherhood and a higher likelihood of women working part-time. This is based on if women have the opportunity to obtain higher-wage jobs within such companies. Often, women are unable to attend school to receive the qualifications necessary for high-skilled work.

These inequalities in labor compensation become more glaringly obvious when it comes to unpaid labor. Women are more than twice as likely as men to participate in unpaid work. Notably, the most frequent unpaid jobs women take on are domestic work and child care. In impoverished communities, women must sacrifice their education to fulfill the expectation to manage the household and raise children.

The Importance of Investing in Women

Beyond equality, investing in women provides a multitude of economic benefits. The unpaid labor women often take on can actually hinder the economy. Economists estimate that unpaid domestic workers—if paid—could constitute approximately 40% of a nation’s GDP. A lack of education for women also plays a role in stunting economies. When women receive education, economies tap into a whole new sector of individuals that bring new, innovative ideas to the table, which help economies grow. Further, studies show that for every 10% of girls enrolled in school in a developing country, the GDP increases long-term by 3%.

In addition to paying women for labor and educating women, it is imperative to give women advancement opportunities. Women make up approximately half of the agricultural labor force but less than 13% of landholders globally. If women obtain the same amount of land, technology and capital as men, there could be an estimated 30% increase in food production. In this way, empowering women could help to substantially reduce world hunger. On the more industrial side, studies show that both efficiency and organization significantly increase when three or more women enter senior positions at companies.

A Better Society For All

Decreasing the wage gap begins in three main areas: women’s unpaid work, education and health. When women in developing countries receive aid and money, the aid does not stop at just the direct beneficiary. Women are likely to extend the benefits to those around them; women tend to invest their earned money into their children’s education and health as well as their own. Giving women financial tools has economic gain for all and promotes economic justice.

The best way to ensure a fair economy is to invest in women, particularly in developing countries. Women should have the opportunity to work the same jobs, receive the same qualifications and have the same economic opportunities as men. Society’s way forward is through taking advantage of the benefits of investing in women.

– Becca Blanke
Photo: Flickr

Adjuvant CapitalGlenn Rockman and Jenny Yip are the leaders of Adjuvant Capital, an investment firm focused on public health. In February 2021, the firm announced a $300 million venture capital fund. The reason for raising this large amount is because the world is in great need of medical technologies and supplies and Adjuvant Capital wants to ensure those resources are accessible. The fund specifically works toward underprivileged and developing countries to ensure that those who would not otherwise have access to certain medical advances are getting the care they need. Multiple investors have pledged money to this fund, including the Gates Foundation, pledging $75 million to the venture capital fund.

The Venture Capital Industry

The venture capital industry has long since been overlooking new technologies in the medical field but Adjuvant Capital looks to change this in order to get the necessary medical resources to the people that need them. By investing in various companies, increased production will arise for new medical technologies that can help prevent or manage medical issues, from rare diseases to global pandemics. Many of the Adjuvant Capital investors are also contributing scientific advice and research as well as financial aid in order to cultivate the growth of wide-reaching medical resources.

Adjuvant Capital

The co-founders of Adjuvant Capital, Kabeer Aziz and Charlie Petty, have been global health investors in the past. Partners Rockman and Yip also have investment backgrounds, with Rockman being a former member of the Global Health Investment Fund. It is clear to see that these backgrounds have had a lot of influence over the firm’s current venture fund and can be seen further as Yip used to be a part of the Gate’s Foundation’s strategic investments group. The Gate’s Foundation is responsible for about 25% of the venture capital fund.

Although based in the United States, Adjuvant Capital commits to the most promising technologies globally, with investments in NigeriaBangladesh and China, among others. Recent financings include Beijing-based Yisheng Biopharma, which looks to resolve critical supply issues in the rabies vaccine market.

Medical innovations have been overlooked by investors for a long time, which is why this venture capital fund exists. Mark Suzman, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is quoted saying “there is an important role for investment capital to play in stimulating innovation and making markets work for the poor so that everyone has the chance to live a healthy, productive life.”

The investment into these innovations will not only help the underprivileged but it will create an effect that reaches everyone and promotes public health as well as growth. Among others, investors in the fund also include the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The Road Ahead

Adjuvant Capital’s investment fund could possibly produce life-changing healthcare solutions that have the potential to create significant global social impact. Adjuvant Capital is committed to ensure global access to healthcare and health equity worldwide. The ultimate goal is to bring quality healthcare to all by creating affordable, effective solutions that everyone has access to, regardless of income, region or socioeconomic status.

Grace Aprahamian
Photo: Flickr


The Philippines' Improved Economy
The Philippines is a developing nation located in the East Asian Pacific region. Although the nation is still developing, the Philippines economy is improving exponentially. According to the World Bank Group, the country is experiencing increased urbanization and the middle class of the country is growing. Businesses have experienced notably positive performance in the past few years. Real estate, finance and the insurance industry are all areas where the economy is having exceptional growth. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the economic growth of the Philippines. If the Philippines contains the virus on both a domestic and global level then the economy of the Philippines will rebound in late 2021 or 2022. The Philippines’ improved economy occurred in several ways.

Investing in Agriculture

Agriculture accounted for about 25% of the Philippines’ GDP in the 1980s. However, only 9.3% of the agriculture industry contributed to the economy in 2018. Yet, the agriculture sector employs about 25% of the Philippines’s workforce. Some important agricultural goods from the Philippines include coconuts, rice, corn and pineapples. In recent years, the agricultural sector’s low rate of growth has contributed to poverty and unemployment.

As a result, the government has begun supporting the Philippine Department of Agriculture’s programs. Some of its programs include improving food security within the nation. The World Bank’s Philippine Rural Development Project is providing external support to the agricultural sector. This project aims to improve infrastructure that is vital to agricultural production. Furthermore, improving agriculture is vital to the economy.

Improving Industry

The industry sector has been another contributing piece to the Philippines’s improved economy. Currently, this sector has currently been able to employ 18.4% of Philippine workers. Additionally, the Filipino government is attempting to increase the amount of foreign direct investment. It also plans on achieving this goal by working to improve the infrastructure of the nation. This will then attract the attention of possible investors. Manufacturing is another important industry in the Philippines. The Philippines is home to a variety of metallic resources. The mining industry itself has already brought different mining companies to the Philippines to conduct business. Mining businesses working in the Philippines include BHP and Sutimo Metal Mining Co LTD.

The Growing Service Sector

The growth of the service sector is another contributor to the Philippines’ improved economy. Around 60% of the Philippines’ GDP comes from this sector. In addition, the service sector also employs about 56.7% of people in the Philippines’ workforce. One vital part of the service sector includes business process outsourcing (BPO). The Philippines has an extremely large BPO market due to the United States aid.

The Philippines’ improved economy is noticeable in several ways. First, the income-per-capita saw an increase of 17% from 2016-2018. Additionally, the unemployment rate has decreased as a result of foreign direct investment into the country. The Philippines has become the 13th largest economy in Asia. Despite the challenges, organizations like EY and the World Bank note that the Philippines has the potential to have a flourishing economy.

– Jacob E. Lee
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

African American investorsMobile banking has had a dramatic upsurge in Kenya. Nigerian states need innovators for energy companies. Namibia and Ghana require finance reform for corporations. The housing construction market in Africa is booming. These are all opportunities encouraging African American investors to provide capital for the dynamic upsurge in venture capital and profitable markets in Africa. According to Andy Ingraham, president and CEO of the National Association of Black Hotel Owners, Operators & Developers, the wealth of Africa lies significantly in the hands of African Americans. He notes that more African Americans are doing more business with the Caribbean and Africa and are also partaking in philanthropic ventures.

African American Investments in Africa

There are two highly effective ways African Americans can boost Africa’s economy and create significant income. Does the potential business seek to export and import goods or seek to open and invest in production manufacturing on African soil? Danladi Verheijen, managing director at Verod Capital, a leading investment firm in Lagos, Nigeria, advises that “the bigger opportunity is being able to set up local businesses in Africa to make and produce locally manufactured products.” Consequently, this action results in increased local employment and self-sufficiency.

Choosing the right African region is also a significant factor in successful business operations. Rosa Whitaker, the first assistant U.S. trade representative for Africa, suggests that “There is much synergy between Africa and African American business because the region is growing in precisely the areas where African American firms are competitive.” Since African American companies made an estimated gross profit of $21.8 billion in the U.S.  industrial service sector in 2013, there is a greater chance a higher profit is obtainable in Africa where consumerism and competitive states are favorable.

Famous Investments

Ethnically from Senegal, Akon migrated at the age of 11 to New Jersey. Today, known as a multimillionaire artist and entrepreneur, Akon has invested $6 billion into Cadastral de Mbodiene park, along Senegal’s coastline. He aims to build a futuristic crypto city for people of all social classes. This investment will drape West Africa with significant economic progress, increasing employment and decreasing poverty.

Mark Anthony Hernandez and his team of African American investors arrived in Uganda with $300 million, seeking to share their business knowledge and boost the country’s health and real estate sectors. The team plans to invest in neurosurgery while expanding residential and commercial estates for the citizens.

As Liberia is seeking to increase its tourism sites, BET founder, Robert L. Johnson, partnered with Liberian officials and other investors to build a four-star hotel in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. Through the project, he hopes to boost the country’s tourism industry and encourage other communities of color to focus their investments on Africa’s rising economy.

Inequality in the US

Due to the issue of African American equality in the United States, many critics argue that reparations on all aspects of Afro-American lives require reconstructive attention before African Americans can further progress elsewhere in the world. Furthermore, African Americans report having no or very little knowledge of the conditions in Africa.

Mass incarceration in communities of color holds a heavier weight against African American business prospects, according to Michelle Alexander, a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate and legal scholar. In her book “The New Jim Crow,” Alexander highlights the long sequence of racial caste systems placed upon minorities, specifically black and Hispanic men. This has resulted in decreased growth in capital, corporations, family connections and the ability to vote. This reality is clear in many black families whose opportunities to invest shrink when receiving a sentence through unfair prosecutions or arrests.

The Road Ahead

Although it is important to see the hurdles set against the rise of African American businesses in the United States, it is equally important to provide capital to African regions that have opened their borders to African American investors. Large corporations with a high interest in emerging markets are encouraged to send workers abroad and gain experience, supporting growth in the United States and Africa.

Ayesha Swary
Photo: Flickr