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Investment opportunity

"Investment opportunity" Continued...

Issue: "Your right to vote," July 31, 2010

Montgomery found that developing an enterprise in a foreign culture takes, above all, humility. He said too often both entrepreneurs and missionaries come into a country with the attitude, "We have the top technology. We have the top thoughts. We're going to help." But a successful entrepreneur has to be teachable. The developing world has resources the rest of the world could use, he noted. For instance, a poor farmer in Kenya can go to a small market and pay for tomatoes using his cell phone-an innovation that Americans would probably appreciate also. And in Pakistan, farmers recognize that the price of onions can fluctuate wildly. So every year the farmers plant one acre of onions, and every couple of years the prices soar and farmers make a killing off of one acre. "They're not stupid," Montgomery said.

The key is spreading the wealth-both for the Maasai whose cows are dying and for the investment manager looking at his portfolio. During his time in New York, Shani spoke to a philanthropist and said, "We need that connection between us and you. Because you guys have the money and have no idea what to do with the money. But we . . . know where we want to go, from Point A to B, but lack the means." He told the philanthropists they could pool their financial and entrepreneurial capital: "Package complete." The philanthropist said, "I like that."
To hear Alisa Harris discuss this topic on the "Knowing the Truth" radio program, click here.

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