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Business principles to help the developing world


May 22, 2008

Kiwi using business principles to help the developing world

HE has been shot at, captured by pirates, stoned and survived two plane crashes, but this has not deterred Kiwi entrepreneur David Bussau from continuing his mission to fight poverty in developing countries.

TEAR Fund is privileged to host David Bussau while he tours New Zealand talking about how Microenterprise works and how it is empowering small business people in the developing world to break the poverty cycle. TEAR Fund NZ basis most of its microenterprise programmes on David’s revolutionary microenterprise model which has seen millions released from poverty.

Abandoned by his parents, David Bussau grew up in an orphanage in New Zealand (Masterton) before finding himself out on the street at 15 with nothing but his wits. Despite this he managed to accumulate significant wealth though building up and selling a whole series of businesses.

By his mid-thirties he was operating a multi-million dollar construction company in Australia. When Cyclone Tracy struck Darwin in 1975, David took a volunteer construction team to help rebuild the city. He did such a great job that he was later asked to go to Bali to help rebuild rural areas devastated by an earthquake.

As he applied traditional solutions (repairing bridges and roads, re-establishing water supplies, rebuilding schools) he gradually realised that sustainable development needed more than just infrastructure. (more)

What he found there was that traditional development solutions still left poor families trapped in poverty. He concluded that what poor people wanted is work, and that with jobs they can solve their other problems. His solution was to offer small business loans at fair interest – a hand up instead of a hand out. About 98 per cent of the loans are repaid and lent again to extend their business or to be lent to others to start a small business. Normally the only option is for micro-entrepreneurs to borrow from loan sharks who charge crippling interest rates which force them into further poverty.

David Bussau is one of the world’s most renowned pioneers of Micro-enterprise Development. According to the World Bank, micro-enterprise has proven to be one of the most effective and sustainable ways to solve poverty. David spends most of his life on planes and in the developing world initiating projects and providing consultancy to governments, multinationals and other organisations. David has lived in Australia for many years and has won many awards and honours for his work.

Most recently he was awarded the title of Australian Senior of the Year 2008. In 2003 he was awarded Ernst & Young Australian of the Year, making history as the first ever social entrepreneur to be inducted into the World Entrepreneur of the Year Academy in Monte Carlos.

In 2000, he was chosen by Bulletin magazine “as one of Australia’s 10 most creative minds”.

David Bussau will be visiting Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson. Visit www.tearfund.org.nz for dates and for more information on Microenterprise.


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