"Economic Growth doesn't mean anything if it leaves people out." - Jack Kemp
In 2018, an estimated 172 million people worldwide are without jobs. And it is more likely for men to participate in the labour force than women - around 3 in 5 of 3.5 billion of those in labour force were men.
These are just some sobering facts on the current state of global economic development, but in recent years, we've seen progress towards more sustained and inclusive economic growth. Around the globe, organizations are running mentorship programs, offering loans for people to start businesses, advocating for labour rights and promoting safe working environment.
Here are some stories from B1G1 Worthy Causes that are working towards SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG9 - Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
Small loans, big (and life-changing) impacts
Story By: Opportunity International
Opportunity International empowers people living in poverty through micro-finance to grow their own businesses.
In a year that has been punishing for business owners around the world, it’s those living in poverty whose livelihoods are most affected by illness, lockdowns, travel restrictions, and forced closures. For their micro-finance clients in India and Indonesia, 2021 continues to be an extraordinarily challenging year.
Yet, in the face of some of the most crippling challenges of our lifetimes, stories are emerging of incredible resilience, resourcefulness, creativity and determination.
One of the these entrepreneurs with remarkable stories is Nursanti from Indonesia.
Nursanti makes and sells traditional Ondel-Ondel figurines that are usually featured in folk performances and festivals.
However, in light of the pandemic, Nursanti changed her business model to focus on online sales. E-commerce had notably increased her reach and market and now she is able to sell 60 pairs of figurines in a week.
The sales ensure that Nursani can purchase internet data to support her daughter's online education.
Reaching rural areas in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi
Story by: MicroLoan Foundation Australia
The majority of women supported by MicroLoan are farmers in rural regions throughout Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
Geographically isolated, accessing finance in these remote communities is challenging, and women especially suffer the consequences of financial exclusion. Without capital to invest in their farms, female farmers are unable to purchase the seed and fertilizer they need to boost their crops. This low productivity leads to heightened food insecurity and widespread hunger.
Since 2020, MicroLoan has been developing a new agricultural programme to dramatically increase their reach in rural regions in Zambia to better support smallholder farmers. They aim to empower some of the poorest women in the world to build sustainable, profitable farming businesses so they are able to provide for their families.
As experts in finance for the poor, MicroLoan is partnering with one of the leading agricultural organisations in Zambia, the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU).
Their goal is to reach 5,000 female smallholder farmers by the end of 2022 in the regions of Chipata, Katete, Petauke, Lundazi, Choma and Mazabuka. Once successful, they will scale up to all regions in Zambia.
Among the expected positive outcomes of this project are:
- Higher yields
- Increased household income
- Increased food security
- Resilience against market and environmental shocks
- Less soil erosion and better soil health
A Life Beyond Prison
Story by: This Life Cambodia
Everyone deserves a second chance.
And This Life Cambodia has been offering that second chance to hundreds of youth in Cambodia.
TLC offers motorbike repair vocational training and an electronic repair course for juveniles in the Siem Reap and Bantey Meanchey prisons, whilst also providing personal development and social services in Phnom Penh's CC2 prison.
These centers house 70% of the countries total juvenile prisoners.These students are often locked up for the smallest of crimes that are driven by poverty. Their chance of being stigmatized by their community and returning to prison is very high.
Since 2010 the program has been so successful that they were able to reduce the six month re-offence rate from 60% to only 2% across all prisons that they work with. This is huge! Hundreds of youth have been rescued from a cycle of crime, and have returned home as an asset to their families and communities.
This Life Cambodia envisions a Cambodia in which every person has the opportunity to live their life fully, not in their next life, but in this life. Support their work here.
Reaching out to indigenous communities in Australia
Story by: Dot Com Mob
Being connected has never been more important than now.
B1G1 Worthy Cause Dot Com Mob reaches the indigenous communities in the Northern Territory in Australia.
These communities have little to limited access to the internet and technology. Dot Com Mob bridges this gap by working together with organizations to bring the internet to communities that would otherwise be left behind while the rest of the world changes rapidly.
The internet has also been pivotal in improving Indigenous education in Australia. In the past, the absence of a mobile network, newspapers, or library has resulted in varying levels of literacy and English language proficiency in the region.
Today, beyond providing connectivity to the communities, Dot Com Mob has expanded its reach to delivering musical and recording skills training for girls in remote communities, movie nights and even having a 'Meme Machine' for youths to create their own GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) to share with family and friends and so much more!