Yandra Portela — Strategic Giving & Effective Compassion
Business Leader, Dominican Republic
We have to 'teach a man to fish,' otherwise we stay in a vicious circle of not coming out of poverty, because we are used to having things given to us and that does not create an entrepreneurial spirit.
Video Player ↓
Portela on Strategic Giving
An opportunity can be in the form of teaching someone how to run a business, an opportunity for financing, of someone giving you a loan, which you have to pay back, and with that loan you can set up your small business and in that small business, well, you start to develop your entrepreneurial spirit. But I repeat that it isn’t just I’m giving you something just to give it to you. We use giving specifically to have people do something with that.
Portela on Teach a Man to Fish
There is a saying, “Don’t give a man a fish but teach him to fish.” For poverty to decrease in our countries, we have to give people the opportunity to do something, not give them a loaf of bread, a fish. We have to teach them to fish, because otherwise we stay in a vicious cycle of not coming out of poverty because we are used to having things given to us and that does not create an entrepreneurial spirit. It does not foster a spirit of trying to get out of poverty.
Portela on the Impact of Aid on Entrepreneurship
A study that was presented to us by the Brazilian government, they measured the entrepreneurial spirit in the different Latin American countries, one of which, by the way, one of the highest, is the Dominican Republic. But Puerto Rico is the lowest. Why is the entrepreneurial spirit low in Puerto Rico? Precisely because they receive a lot of assistance, they get a lot of help, welfare that doesn’t motivate them to do anything.
Portela on Effective Compassion
I wouldn’t ever want to lose the capacity to hurt when I see poverty, and this is important. But, what we may be missing is that the answer we are providing doesn’t seem to be enough because we’re not coming out of it. So then, how do we do things differently so that what we can do is really and truly useful for helping to fight poverty? That feeling, which is good, should be maintained, but HOW to solve it is what we have to change.
Portela on Free Zones
I think the free zones aren’t bad or good if they don’t depend on, on what they make. In countries with high levels of unemployment, they become an answer. Obviously, what we can’t do is think that that is the only method of development ... Free zones are a way to attract capital ... export more easily. So, they aren’t bad in themselves. It is good to attract capital and be able to produce. What is bad is when they keep making the same thing forever and then they don’t develop as the world develops.
Portela on Globalization
Globalization is a reality. In other words, we are going to be globalized, we are going to be a world with travel, the Internet. In other words, it is a world where we are going to be globalized. So the question is if we are going to be, if the world is globalized, how do we benefit from it and how do we not affect the country in a way that creates more poverty? So the question that we Dominicans have to ask ourselves is: How do we benefit from a globalization that is not going to stop? We can’t be isolated from that situation. And there are a number of opportunities with globalization, even for the poor population.