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PovertyCure is an initiative of the Acton Institute

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The Entrepreneurial Spirit

George Ayittey, Ghanaian economist and author, said: "Every social need is a business opportunity." The developing world is teeming with entrepreneurs who are seeking to solve those social needs through business. Unfortunately, there are significant barriers keeping many of these entrepreneurs from being successful. Learn what models exist that allow us to partner with those same entrepreneurs so they can thrive.

Savings Groups

Savings Groups are a unique model that bring economic, social, and spiritual benefits to their members. While they do not radically reduce poverty levels, they powerfully demonstrate the agency and creative capacity of those living in material poverty.

Enterprise Solutions to Poverty

The experience of the last 200 years demonstrates that living standards can be raised even as population density rapidly increases. Innovation and entrepreneurship can and do create new wealth for both the rich and the poor. There are, in other words, enterprise solutions to poverty.

Business as Mission

C. Neal Johnson defines business as mission (BAM)* as “a for-profit commercial business venture that is Christian led, intentionally devoted to being used as an instrument of God’s mission to the world (missio dei), and is operated in a cross-cultural environment, either domestic or international.”


Microfinance refers to the financial services industry for poor people in the developing world who have historically lacked access to even the most basic financial options. One such service, and the most widely discussed, is microcredit, which involves special banks or other lending institutions making tiny loans (i.e. microloans) to persons who, based on their net finances, would not traditionally be qualified to receive credit. Unlike payday loans and so-called “loan sharks,” the best examples of microcredit help the borrower toward econom…

SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises)

In OECD countries, 95% of all companies are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), employing 75% of the entire workforce in places like Europe and America. As Kim Tan and Lord Brian Griffiths explain, in these countries, over half of all the GDP comes from SMEs, not from large multinational corporations. By contrast, in poor countries, there are numerous very small companies (microenterprises) and a few very large companies, but almost nobody in the middle. The reason this is a problem is that the data shows that SMEs are crucial for growing a…


The entrepreneur is the creative element indispensable to economic growth, the risk-taking “e variable” who pursues a vision to create value and serve customers in a new way. Technically defined, an entrepreneur is someone who connects capital, labor and material factors to produce a good or service, either in a for-profit or non-profit context. Most often applied to business enterprise, the term describes an individual who notices some inadequately met want or need in the market and fills the gap through a new product or service, an im…

Market Competition

"Competition is good for everybody.... Competition helps bring out everybody's potential...."

Rethink Poverty

Subtitled in 15 languages, this six part video series that will change absolutely everything about how you approach charity and missions.