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Rappi: The Colombian Unicorn that Has Given Venezuelans a ChanceThe socio-economic and political crisis in Venezuela has forced millions of citizens to flee the country in pursuit of better opportunities. In fact, there are approximately 4.5 million Venezuelans abroad. Almost 1.8 million are in the neighboring country of Colombia. This migratory movement has generated a demand for blue-collar jobs. Rappi, the Colombian unicorn, has become a very important niche for migrant labor. It allows them to start over and overcome their poor economic and social condition.

Rappi is an innovative App that works as a large shopping center in which the customer gets all kinds of products. The product quickly arrives at the customer’s location. This business model requires thousands of office employees as well as shoppers and distributors. While many of the Venezuelans that enter neighboring countries only have a high school diploma, Rappi has opportunities for them. The Venezuelans can provide for their families with only a bike and a smartphone.

The Presence of Venezuelans in Rappi

With only five years in the market, Rappi has seen a constant 20% growth every month. This reaches thousands across 9 countries in Latin America. This rapid increase has been directly correlated to the massive emigration of people. Today, 57% of Rappi’s distributors, or better known as rappitenderos, are Venezuelans. This is because Rappi only requires the special permit acquired with the traditional migratory process and no previous working reference.

Many studies have shown that Venezuelans in Rappi work considerably more hours and days by choice in comparison to Colombians. Rappi provides a flexible model in which distributors accommodate the hours they work according to their necessities and availability. The Venezuelan rappitenderos work around 10 to 12 hours a day, while Colombian rappitenderos work approximately 8 hours. Moreover, 97% of Venezuelans work up to 7 days a week while only 5% of Colombians work 6 days. 

Rappi has helped Venezuelans find a job in which they can provide for their families. It also has looked for other ways to help their families. Rappi has partnered with Valiu, a Colombo-Venezuelan startup. This collaboration helps the rappitenderos send money to their relatives that live in Venezuela and struggle with poverty. This partnership has created better alternatives for distributors to manage their income and help their families.

The Impact

Rappi is the first fully Colombian, and one of the most important, tech firms in Latin America. It is the perfect innovation that has eased people’s lives, changed consumption habits and helped small businesses thrive. More than anything, it has allowed thousands of Venezuelans that have been looking for a better quality of life. It has become a means to reduce poverty and close the gaps of inequality.

The startup was born with the mission to make people’s lives easier. It extended its main goal to a community that today calls for help and needs to generate extra income for their personal and professional goals. Additionally, Venezuelan migrants contribute to the national economy of Colombia. Despite challenges and migratory processes, they have found their way and Rappi has been the dominant employer for this strong workforce.

Isabella León Graticola
Photo: Pixabay

10 International Issues to WatchWith the world always changing, there are some issues that remain constant. Some of these issues are directly related to poverty while other events increase the likelihood of creating impoverished communities. Here are 10 international issues to watch in relation to world poverty.

10 International Issues to Watch

  1. Poverty in sub-Saharan Africa
    The good news is that global poverty rates have been dropping since the turn of the century. Nevertheless, there is still work that needs to be done. Approximately 10 percent of people in developing areas live on less than $2 per day. Poverty rates have declined in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, but more than 40 percent of residents of sub-Saharan Africa still live below the poverty line.
  2. Lack of Access to Clean Water
    There are more than 2 billion people in the world who cannot access clean water in their own homes. Lack of access to clean water increases the likelihood of contracting illnesses. When people get sick, they have to spend money on medicine, which can cause families to fall into extreme poverty. In other cases, people have to travel extremely far to collect clean water. Altogether, women and girls spend approximately 200 million hours walking to get water daily. Access to clean water is one of the 10 international issues to watch in relation to world poverty.
  3. Food Security
    By 2050, the world will need to feed 9 billion people, but there will be a 60 percent greater food demand than there is today. Thus, the United Nations is taking steps to address the problem. The U.N. has set improving food security, improving sustainable agriculture and ending hunger as some of their primary focuses by the year 2030. The U.N. must address a wide range of issues to combat these problems. These issues include gender parity, global warming and aging populations.
  4. Improving Education
    Most impoverished communities around the world lack a solid education system. Some common barriers include families being unable to afford school, children having to work to support their family and the undervaluing of girls’ education. UNESCO estimates more than 170 million people could be lifted out of poverty if they had basic reading skills.
  5. Limited Access to Jobs
    In rural and developing communities around the world, there is often limited access to job opportunities. There is a multitude of factors that can lead to a lack of adequate work or even no opportunities at all. Two common roadblocks are a lack of access to land and a limit of resources due to overexploitation. It is obvious that no available means to make money ensures that a family cannot survive without outside help.
  6. Limiting Global Conflict
    When conflict occurs, it impacts the poor the hardest. Social welfare type programs are drained, rural infrastructure may be destroyed in conflict zones and security personnel moves into urban areas, leaving smaller communities behind. At the state level, impoverished communities have lower resilience to conflict because they may not have strong government institutions. Poverty and conflict correlate strongly with one another.
  7. Gender Equality
    From a financial standpoint, gender equality is vital to improving the world economy. The World Economic Forum states that it would take another 118 years to achieve a gender-neutral economy. In 2015, the average male made $10 thousand more a year than their female counterparts. However, there has been an increased amount of awareness on the issue that may lead to an improved economy for all.
  8. Defending Human Rights
    In 2018, the world saw a decline in global freedom. However, over the last 12 consecutive years, global freedom rights have decreased. More than 70 countries have experienced a decline in political and civil liberties. However, in 2019, steps are being taken to limit this problem. At the International Conference on Population and Development, there will be a focus on human rights. France will also align its G-7 efforts at limiting a variety of inequalities.
  9. Responding to Humanitarian Crises
    The 2019 Global Humanitarian Overview shows a large number of humanitarian crises around the world. Between Syria, Colombia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are more than 19 million internally displaced people. In 2019, approximately 132 million people have needed humanitarian help, costing the world economy almost $22 billion.
  10. Climate Change
    From a scientific standpoint, the land temperature has increased by 1 degree C. in the last half decade, and greenhouse gas emissions have risen to their highest levels in more than 800,000 years. This has led to increased storms and droughts throughout the world. In the last 39 years, weather-related economic loss events have tripled.

Even though the world still has many issues to address, progress is being made in a variety of areas that may help limit global poverty. These are but 10 international issues to watch in relation to global poverty. The global awareness of poverty-related issues is something that continues to be extremely important for the advancement of our world.

Nicholas Bartlett
Photo: Google Images

solutions to global poverty
Nearly half of the world’s population lives at or below the poverty line; out of the 2.2 billion children in the world, one billion of them live in poverty. Though this issue may not be as prevalent or visible in the U.S., it is an issue that affects everyone. Small steps can be taken to better this problem, leading to possible solutions to global poverty.

  1. Properly Identifying Issues
    One of the largest issues involving poverty is the inability to properly identify contributing factors at the micro and macro level. Many organizations assume that local aid alone will better the problem, but it is only with the combined efforts of local, state and national governments that poverty will lessen.
  1. Allocating Proper Time and Resources
    Preventable diseases such as pneumonia claim the lives of nearly two million children per year. Without proper planning, which includes allocating enough time, money and volunteer work, global poverty will continue to exist. Currently, the U.S. spends only about one percent of the federal budget on foreign aid. By creating detailed plans and projects aimed at helping other nations, global poverty will begin to lessen.
  1. Creating organizations and communities to work locally
    Enacting policy is not the only solution to global poverty, as policy often does not affect those suffering directly. As previously stated, efforts must come from both local and federal domains. Essentially, while policy is created to change legislation, local organizations enact the changes, directly helping those in need. On top of that, working with entire communities instead of specific individuals has been proven to be more effective.
  1. Creating Jobs
    Creating jobs in poverty-ridden communities allows individuals to pull themselves out of poverty. This solution to global poverty is arguably one of the most effective. Federal governments can achieve this by rebuilding their infrastructures, developing renewable energy sources, renovating abandoned housing and raising the minimum wage.
    By raising the minimum wage in existing jobs, companies would combat recent inflation in both developed and developing countries. This change in the states (in places such as Seattle and Washington) has been shown to reduce poverty.
  1. Providing Access to Healthcare
    Unpaid medical bills are the leading cause of bankruptcy. Having access to free or affordable healthcare would allow families to allocate the money they would normally spend on healthcare elsewhere.
  1. Empowering Women
    Female empowerment in developing countries often comes from organizations that work to reduce poverty by allowing them to take leadership positions and advance socially and economically.
  1. Microfinancing
    Microfinancing provides improvements to socioeconomic status by providing access to more, larger loans, providing better repayment rates for women, as they are less likely to default on their loans than men and extending education programs for loan-payers’ children. It can also improve health and welfare by providing access to clean water and better sanitation, create new jobs and teach developing countries to be more sustainable.
    Microfinancing continues to prove that even the smallest amounts of credit can be one of the many solutions to global poverty.
  1. Provide paid leave and paid sick days
    Paid maternal and paternal leave allows families to save money after childbirth, as having a child is a leading cause of economic hardship. Furthermore, giving workers paid sick days allows them to properly get over their illness without worrying about missing a paycheck or receiving a paycheck with fewer funds than normal.
  1. Supporting equal pay for men and women
    Closing the wage gap between men and women would reduce 50 percent of poverty experienced by women and their families. This would also add money to the nation’s gross domestic product.

Global poverty has proven to be an unruly, frustrating cycle, but eradicating it is within our means. These solutions to global poverty can and should be implemented to begin the end of poverty.

– Chylene Babb

Photo: Flickr

female_entrepreneurs
The World Bank recently established a line of credit for female entrepreneurs in the world’s poorest nations. The program has already helped more than 3,000 female entrepreneurs in Ethiopia start their own businesses and escape poverty.

In poor communities, women are far less likely than men to own valuable assets to use as collateral to get a loan. Without these loans, many business ventures never make it off the ground.

An estimated 70 percent of women who own small or medium-sized businesses are unable to stabilize and improve them because of a lack of funding credit. This challenge creates a huge loss in potential income within a community.

According to World Bank economists Francesco Strobbe and Salman Alibhai, investing in female-owned businesses results in one of the “highest return opportunities available in emerging markets.”

The World Bank is helping to put an end to this opportunity loss and stagnation of female business opportunities by offering female entrepreneurs loans through the International Development Association and several international development organizations in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Between January 2014 and September 2015, Ethiopia’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project disbursed 768 million birr (about $38 million) worth of credit to 3,227 female entrepreneurs. Currently, nearly $2 million in credit is being disbursed each month with an average individual loan size of approximately 219,605 birr (approximately $11,000).

Research shows that female entrepreneurs are more likely to hire other women to work in their businesses, opening up employment opportunities in communities where positions for women were scarce before.

Thus far, 76 percent of the women who have taken advantage of the program are first-time borrowers, unlocking untapped capital and opening up a new route to closing the gendered financial gap.

Despite the majority being first-time borrowers with little to no collateral, the repayment rate is 99.4 percent. Besides the success of the small loans, the program also offers entrepreneurship training to inspired women throughout the nation.

So far, more than 5,000 women have taken advantage of training and hope to enter into the exciting realm of business ownership. This trend is likely to drive down the overall rate of unemployment throughout Ethiopia, which currently stands at 17 percent.

Claire Colby

Sources: CIA World Factbook, World Bank
Photo: Flickr

 Carbon_Credits
The city of Lagos is working to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases emitted from their landfills using a state-of-the-art composting facility. This facility is dramatically reducing the volume of waste ending up in landfills by 10-20 percent.

It is Nigeria’s first composting project to be registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), earning the nation carbon credits that can be cashed with the World Bank.

Carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, are becoming a fresh incentive for countries to become more environmentally sustainable.

As a financial instrument representing a tonne of CO2 (carbon dioxide) or CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent gases) removed or reduced from the atmosphere, the greener a nation’s industries are, the more financial carbon credits the nation will amount.

Since Nigeria’s industrial and commercial centers are home to more than 17 million, Lagos City’s population is expected to grow steadily to more than 21 million by the end of 2015, bringing an increased amount of unsorted waste.

Unfortunately, the city already has a problem with its landfill management practices, including poorly regulated methane emissions.

Still in the phase of its first verification, the project is expected to have approximately 30,000 carbon credits issued by the end of 2015. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the project. While operating at maximum capacity, the compost facility can process 1,500 metric tons of mainly organic waste per day. It has been projected that over the course of the next 10 years, greenhouse gas emissions will be cut by 253,800 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year as a result.

That translates to a lot of money through carbon credits for the Nigerian government to work on other sustainable development throughout the nation, benefiting all levels of society. But the monetary benefits of the carbon credits project are intended to stretch beyond the government, and trickle down in particular to the industrial and agricultural working classes.

In the industrial sector, the project is anticipated to create approximately 90 jobs at landfills throughout the city. In the agricultural sector, the byproduct of composting organic waste in landfills is extremely nutrient-rich soil. This soil is cheaper and more environmentally sound than the chemical fertilizer alternative that Nigerian farmers currently have available to them.

This increase in organic farming has been proven to improve soil quality and crop yields, increasing the productivity and profitability of farming throughout the region. As harvests improve and stabilize, there is a strengthening of national food security and increase in the region’s sustainable development.

Claire Colby

Sources: Carbon Planet, World Bank
Photo: Pixabay

Chocolate Company Creates Jobs for Women in Ghana

Divine Chocolate is a Fair Trade chocolate company partially owned by Kuapa Kokoo Limited. Kuapa Kokoo is Ghana’s leading farmer’s cooperative for chocolate, dedicated to quality both in their products and in the lives of the members.

The Fair Trade aspect of the company prevents large organizations from taking advantage of the small-farm cocoa farmers. This allows the farmers to receive a fair income and reduces the chances of child labor and forced labor.

One of the more important aspects of Divine Chocolate is the emphasis on the empowerment of women. Approximately 32 percent of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative is made up of women. Women are given the opportunity to learn business skills, reading and writing skills, and even new trades through the Divine Chocolate’s Women’s Cocoa Farming Training program and the Kuapa Kokoo Women’s Fund.

The lack of education among women farmers in Ghana makes it easy for others to take advantage of them. The additional education helps protect the women from those who may cheat them and also increases their ability to run efficient farms and produce quality cocoa.

Women in the co-op who have higher levels of education are encouraged to become leaders. Those who have learned other skills have the opportunity to take out microloans from the Kuapa Kokoo Credit Union to start their own businesses. This allows them to receive a secondary income, especially when cocoa beans are not in season. Christiana Ohene-Agyare was the first woman to be nominated president of the Kuapa Kokoo cooperative in 2010.

“Being a member of Kuapa Kokoo has taught me that whatever a man can do, a woman can also do and even better,” said Ohene-Agyare to Divine Chocolate.

Kuapa Kokoo and Divine Chocolate are changing the view of women in Ghana through their innovative structure. Women are given the opportunity to learn, lead and make money through the training program and the Kuapa Kokoo Women’s Fund. The extra income earned by the women allows them to send their children to school as well.

Ghana is the second-largest producer of cocoa behind the Ivory Coast.

Iona Brannon

Sources: Divine Chocolate, Fair Trade USA, Fair Trade, Good News Network
Photo: The News

Unlocking Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Paraguay
Through improving labor access, Paraguay has made recent advancements to become a more inclusive and equal society. Although only 15% of people worldwide have disabilities, an estimated 80% of them are out of work. Fundacion Saraki is at the forefront of finding employment and thus improving the lives of people with disabilities in Paraguay. Its first step was to work toward compliance with a congressional law providing labor inclusion in public institutions.

Congress agreed to grant the foundation an agreement for the “Effective Labor Inclusion” of those with disabilities in both the private and public sectors. Through this, Fundacion Saraki has begun to work toward increasing access to jobs with companies such as McDonald’s and Supermercados España, a Paraguayan supermarket chain. Both companies recently hired interns with disabilities who were later offered jobs with the companies in Capiata and San Lorenzo, two cities near the capital, Asunción.

The foundation has also worked to improve building access. Working with architecture students from local universities, the foundation is working toward raising building standards in the country. Students inspect the buildings and make recommendations to the companies housed there on how to improve their construction to accommodate disabled workers and customers. Thus, this solution is an improvement for both those with disabilities who can enjoy increased services and the companies who serve them in increasing their consumer base. They have also worked toward improving bus conditions to increase the ease of riding for everyone.

Through cooperation with USAID and the National Democratic Institute, the foundation has reached an agreement with Paraguay’s Superior National Electoral Tribunal to ensure improved participation of those with disabilities in the country’s upcoming election in November 2015. These organizations have recently published a manual titled “Equal Access: How To Include Persons with Disabilities in Elections and Political Processes.” Through this publication and continuing efforts on the part of all involved organizations, previous obstacles that prevented disabled people from voting in elections will be removed. Because those who are disabled are often also poor and marginalized, their voices in the political process are crucial.

“We are trying to work the government because in Paraguay disabilities have not been a priority, and we hope to have a greater impact on the private industry as well,” said Fundacion Saraki’s Executive Director Maria Jose Cabezudo Cuevas. Indeed, improving the quality of life and increasing opportunities for those with disabilities supports success and creates a more inclusive, fairer society for everyone.

– Jenny Wheeler

Sources: USAID, National Democratic Institute
Photo: USAID

everjobs

Everjobs, an online job portal created by Rocket Internet, has begun operations in Dakar, Senegal. This job portal was created to simplify the job search and hiring process by connecting job seekers with employers.

Everjobs is also currently operating in eight other developing countries, including Myanmar, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

This online job portal supports Senegal’s new initiative, “Plan Senegal Emergent.” With this initiative, Senegal seeks to establish itself as an emerging country by 2035. With a hope to better lives for generations to come, youth employment is at the top of this agenda.

Because Everjobs is online, it is hoping to attract tech savvy youths. This strategy focuses on complying with Senegal’s initiative for youth employment.

Everjobs hopes to pave the way for Senegalese to match their skills and create a career path. It focuses on the job seeker’s core skills, expertise and interests in order to explore potential career paths that suit the seeker. By taking into account these factors, this type of application process categorizes jobs that are not suitable for the job seeker.

One feature that sets Everjobs apart from other job portals is the expert Job Journal. This feature provides the job seeker with knowledge that will motivate, inspire and track their progress while using the job portal.

Everjobs addresses the need to focus on industries with a high turnover rate, such as hospitality and banks. This aspect will help Senegalese to have the opportunity to work in these industries, gain job experience and hopefully find a career they enjoy.

The co-founder and Managing Director for Africa, Eric Lauer said, “Heads of HR are concerned that a lack of basic CV writing knowledge and poor interview preparation resources have contributed to a fall in employability among its youth.”

With the resources provided by Everjobs, the youth of Senegal will gain the necessary skills in order to complete a successful resume, leave a lasting impression during an interview and gain employment. In order to fulfill Senegal’s initiative, “Plan Senegal Emergent,” it is imperative for the youth to learn the skills to gain employment. With the help of Everjobs, this can be achieved.

Senegal has set a fast pace plan to move from a developing country to an emerging country in as little as 20 years. Because of the online component of Everjobs, it is attractive to the youth seeking employment. With access to an easy to use, resourceful online job portal like Everjobs, Senegal will transition into an emerging country. With the many resources that Senegal’s youth need in order to gain employment, Everjobs will bring about the change Senegalese have been hoping for.

– Kerri Szulak

Sources: CP Africa, IT News Africa
Photo: Senegal Business Services

World Bank Encourages Overseas Hiring Online
A recent effort by the World Bank has helped make overseas hiring feasible for many interested parties – and has driven a surge of employment in Africa.

Unemployment has always been a boogeyman of modern culture. Whether a fully-developed or an emerging market, no economy thrives when it has a high rate of unemployment. According to the U.N., the challenge of unemployment is growing by the year. In 2014, the number of unemployed passed 201 million people worldwide. A disproportionate number of these were women and young people just entering the workforce.

The internet could change that. Like almost everything else the internet has affected, the job market is a very different place now than it was only three or four years ago. Digital entrepreneurs are increasingly common, and small businesses have access to better tools and faster communication than was ever possible before.

Entrepreneurship is not always an option, however. Being a digital entrepreneur requires social networking, strong skill development and a market to work with. On the other hand, companies are often looking for new talent pools of employees.

A study supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and done in partnership with Dahlberg Consulting has recently resulted in a new service. The World Bank is now helping interested individuals and companies find global employees through a new online toolkit. Companies seeking new talent can look abroad for the perfect fit for their employees. Meanwhile, people with technology skills in developing countries can now find jobs that allow them to use their full capacities.

This new business model, called “online outsourcing,” has the power to catalyze new economic growth. It also has the potential to drive a new wave of economic inclusion and equality, as typically underrepresented groups can join the workforce.

The collaboration between the World Bank and the Rockefeller Foundation is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Digital Jobs Africa Initiative. The mission of the initiative is to create new, sustainable employment opportunities for youth in Africa and the skills training to match. This is all working toward the ultimate goal of positively impacting 1 million lives in Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.

So far, the collaborations have been a success. The partnership has enhanced digital job creation in Africa in a number of ways, including the development of an information technology park and capacity building for the digitization of public records in Ghana.

Africa’s economy and population are both growing at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, 400 million people under the age of 25 will need to be gainfully employed in order for the continent’s economic growth to be sustained. Initiatives like the partnership between the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Bank could be the key to success – both of Africa’s economy and of Africa’s youth. The job market is becoming truly global, and everyone will reap the benefits.

– Marina Middleton

Sources: The World Bank, The Rockefeller Foundation
Photo: Flickr

Social-Business-End-Poverty
Nonprofit organizations and philanthropists continue to look for innovative ideas that will bring the world closer to ending world poverty. Although donations and direct contributions provide immediate help to those suffering in developing countries, social businesses have become a popular way to help the poor. Introduced by Muhammad Yunus in 2006, social businesses provide individuals in poor countries with work, or focus on distributing food or clothing.

Social business is a cause-driven business that allows investors to receive the same amount of money they had initially invested. All other profits are reinvested into the business to cover any costs. “At the same time, it can achieve the social objective, such as, healthcare for the poor, housing for the poor, financial services for the poor, nutrition for malnourished children, providing safe drinking water, introducing renewable energy, etc. in a business way,” according to Yunus Centre.

Many companies have adopted social businesses to contribute to alleviating global poverty. Muhammad Yunus’ first business is Grameen Danone, a yogurt distributed in Bangladesh, that helps to prevent malnutrition for children. “The 10-year plan is to establish 50+ plants, create several hundred distribution jobs and self-degradable packaging,” says Yunus. Grameen has grown to develop technologies that help farmers grow crops more effectively.

Agricultural technologies include mrittikā, a soil testing software that helps farmers choose better fertilizer. Ankur is a similar software that focuses on seed selection. Healthcare software shumātā helps pregnant women follow up on personal care, and dolnā helps with vaccinations for children. These programs are examples of social businesses focused on helping the world’s poor in a new innovative way.

Other than Yunus’ programs, many companies are investing in social businesses to make a difference in the lives of the world’s poor. Popular social businesses include clothing lines based in developing countries that help to create jobs for people in rural areas. Hand Up Not Handouts is a company that works with artisans in Rwanda to create hand crafted jewelry, providing work for women to provide for their families.

As more social businesses grow, there are more opportunities available for people in developing countries. “Social businesses have created hopes for eliminating poverty from the world by generating employment,” according to the Daily Star. It is easy for organizations to donate money to the world’s poor; however, creating businesses creates jobs to provide dignity to those who may otherwise be hopeless.

Kimberly Quitzon

Sources: Yunus, Social Business, The Daily Star
Photo: PhilStar