When we think about entrepreneurs, we usually think about young technologists in co-working spaces coming up with the next big smartphone app. Yet some of the smartest innovators aren’t working with code or looking for a lucrative exit. They are working to find sustainable solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems.
At the recent Falak Unreasonable Summit, I met three social entrepreneurs doing just that. One is unlocking the wealth that many of the world’s poor have tied up in livestock. Another is bringing light to some of the world’s most remote places. A third is helping transform refugees into entrepreneurs in war-torn Kurdistan.
What all three have in common is that, rather than merely providing assistance, they are helping some of the world’s most needy communities to leverage assets they already have. We often forget that even the world’s poorest people are not necessarily helpless. They have skills, energy and nonconventional assets that can be unlocked to create a better life.