From Extremely Poor to Entrepreneur: A Starter Asset Combined with Mentorship Forges Pathway Out of Poverty
Today Arfa Bibi runs a successful vegetable farming business in India. Only a few years ago, however, Bibi and her husband struggled to feed their family and she even resorted to begging. Her transformation into entrepreneur came thanks to Kolkata-based nonprofit Bandhan-Konnagar's graduation model program Targeting the Hardcore-Poor, whose success was cited in a six-country MIT study of 21,000 of the world's poorest people.
"The livelihoods of the rural poor are literally consumed by other organisms in complex ecological systems," explained Matthew Bonds, a visiting assistant professor of medicine at Stanford and co-author of the study published in Nature Ecology & Evolution. "The environment's influence on poor rural economies makes them fundamentally different from the economies of more developed countries."