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Sometimes Low Tech is a Winner

We tend to get caught up with the whole knowledge economy, high technology idea for the future of industry. But sometimes low technology can be important too. Low tech can be applied not only in Ireland and the Western World, but can also have a significant impact on the developing world. Take the non-profit company Kickstart for example, which was pointed out to me by a student of mine in my All Hallows College social entrepreneurship class recently. KickStart’s mission is to help millions of people out of poverty by promoting sustainable economic growth and employment creation in Kenya and other countries. They develop and promote technologies that can be used by dynamic entrepreneurs to establish and run profitable small-scale enterprises.

KickStart believes that self-motivated private entrepreneurs managing small-scale enterprises can play a dynamic role in the economies of developing countries. These entrepreneurs can raise small amounts of capital ($100-$1,000 US) to start a new enterprise. KickStart then helps them to identify viable business opportunities and access the technologies required to launch the new enterprises. In addition to promoting small enterprise development, KickStart’s technologies, expertise, and methods are widely applied throughout Africa to support programs in agriculture, shelter, water, sanitation, health, and relief. For other examples of low tech for the developing world, check out the Ryan Academy Social Enterprise website.

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