An economist named Jeffrey Sachs identifies four ways that family income per capita can increase—here are two of the four he mentions. The other two are in yesterday's post. This list is adapted from his book, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time. The explanations are my own, based on his ideas.
When someone receives access to new technology, it can completely transform their life. Most of us have heard technology spoken about as disruptive: One of the advantages of disruptive technology is that it can disrupt the usual patterns of poverty.
We are all limited by our potential resources. When you change a person's level of access to resources, as technology does, you can increase their earning potential exponentially. What if you could take any business and plug it into new technology and ideas that worked? In the process of doing so, you would change the way that business functions for the better. Just like a farmer who learns a new, better method for farming crops can rapidly change their place in an economy, a shirt manufacturer connected to global ecommerce and other technology will have a more successful business.
This is part of the model of Jesus’ Economy—this is why we connect entrepreneurs to global ecommerce. By plugging them into our technology and marketing capability, we can unlock the potential of their business. In addition, part of our microloan process involves helping entrepreneurs get set up with technology to make their manufacturing process smoother. We can make it easier for them to produce more, faster.
A resource boom occurs when a major, ongoing problem plaguing the life of an entrepreneur is suddenly handled and under control. This often occurs at the regional level, as many of these problems involve disease spreading insects or the meeting of basic needs. Sachs uses farming to explain this:
"The farm household is able to move to a much larger and more fertile farm after the government's success in controlling the breeding of black flies, which spread African river blindness. Suddenly there are thousand of hectares of new farmland and a significant expansion of production capacity as a result. Incomes rise and huger falls as each household in the newly opened region is able to triple its previous food output."
Although Jesus' Economy is not the kind of organization that would be able to take on a problem like black flies, we are the type of organization who sees the necessity of meeting basic needs in the process of helping a region recover economically. We plan to fund this work; we don't do it ourselves. When basic needs are met, people are healthy, can work consistently, and have greater opportunity. What good are jobs without clean water?
In a very real and tangible way, we can bring economic hope to others. It doesn’t take much to get there. It’s just a matter of creativity and implementation. You can fund holistic regional transformation today. Donate to Jesus’ Economy regional transformation.