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Out of Poverty

October 2, 2011

Thinking big in this way always carries the risk that you will fail in a big way. But if you can’t stand to take the risk of failing and looking bad while doing so, you probably should be in a different line of work. If you want to make the world a better place, coming up with a break-through concept or technology is just the first step. The most challenging problem is coming up with a practical way that you can put the innovation into the hands of the hundreds of millions of people in the world who need it.”

“Most breakthrough solutions to important problems, such as Henry Ford’s five-hundred-dollar automobile and Jobs and Wozniak’s two-thousand-dollar computer, came about because one or two stubborn entrepreneurs saw new solutions to old problems and persisted until their dreams became a reality. Why should solving the problem of poverty be any different?”

These are excerpts from Out of Poverty, a book I’m reading for my social entrepreneurship course.

After I finished the book tonight, I looked up the author and found a TEDx talk that he had given. He covers many of the same issues he does in the book – it’s worth a watch, for sure.

The big challenge with social entrepreneurship is that the scale on which it needs to be done is so staggering that it’s easy to get intimidated.

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