Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail (Hardcover)
In this impassioned and iconoclastic book Paul Polak, entrepreneur, inventor, and "pioneer of pro-poor technologies" (CNN.com) tells why mainstream poverty eradication programs have fallen so sadly short and how he and the organization he founded, International Development Enterprises, developed an approach that has already succeeded in lifting 17 million people out of poverty. Drawing on his more than twenty-five years of experience, Polak explodes what he calls the "Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths" and lays out an alternative: providing the dollar-a-day poor with innovative, low-cost tools that allow them to use the market to improve their lives. Polak tells fascinating and moving stories about the people he and IDE have helped, especially Krishna Bahadur Thapa, a Nepali farmer who went from barely surviving to becoming solidly upper middle class. Out of Poverty offers a new and promising way to end world poverty, one that honors the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor themselves.
About the Author
Paul Polak is the founder of International Development Enterprises, which currently assists rural farmers in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe. He is the recipient of the Scientific American Top Fifty award for agriculture policy and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. In 2007, IDE received a $13.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Polak currently heads D-Rev: Design for the Other 90%, which helps multinationals profitably develop affordable products to help the world's poor.
"Out of Poverty by Paul Polak, offers optimism. Optimism not just for those fighting poverty and those fighting to get out of it, but for any company interested in a basically untapped 1 billion-person market." -- Jessie Scanlon "February 22, 2008; BusinessWeek"