Writer, columnist and armchair sociologist
An event revolving around the UN Millennium Goals, TEDx Change Dubai, recently gathered three hundred participants at the creek side Dubai Chamber of Commerce. Melinda Gates, wife of billionaire philanthropist and once Microsoft overlord Bill Gates, asked a pertinent question while streaming live from New York.
How is it that Coke can sell 1.5 billion servings daily and dispense to far flung areas that NGOs, Quangos and aid agencies have difficulty reaching with aid or vaccines? It’s simple. Coke’s distribution takes advantage of local entrepreneurs. NGOs often don’t. Entrepreneurs are by nature both disruptive and generative. They distress the fabric of large business through hyper-local knowledge. They nimbly pounce on small market opportunities, or even build them from scratch. They catalyze economic spurts and the birth of cultures and sub-cultures as microcosms of activity appear around them. Their knowledge and drive can often be a powerful catalyst for social improvement.