Last week, my daughter and I were reading a fairy tale about a town where everyone was about to to lose their job because the mill owner was very old, and no one had enough money to buy the mill when he retired. The towns people in the story became very sad and angry when they heard the news, and things in town got a little out of control.
At that point, I stopped, and asked my daughter, “What could the people in the town do to get more money.” She made me proud when she answered “sell things and start a business.”
We’ve all heard stories about amazingly successful entrepreneurs who used their last dollar to turn their lives around and ended up making it big. Real estate investor Armando Montelongo of Flip This House fame is one example that comes to mind. Sometimes the success stories are smaller, but no less awe inspiring, like the people who have brought themselves out of poverty by starting businesses with microloans from places like Kiva.
Entrepreneurship is amazing. It can allow people in the worst circumstances to overcome the odds in a way that a minimum wage retail job never will, allowing them to bring THEMSELVES out of poverty.