LIFT aims to tackle two problems hampering economic development in low-income countries: lack of growth capital for profitable small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and lack of opportunity for the working poor to improve their skills and earning potential. We believe that developing economies grow with strong businesses and a skilled workforce and LIFT is working to fuel this growth.
Capital to successful SMEs
According to the G20, only 20% of SMEs in developing countries have access to capital. Its widely known that small businesses reduce poverty, create jobs and strengthen local economies. Even better, growing SMEs who have proven business models hold the potential to become industry champions, employ hundreds of workers, expand internationally and truly contribute to their nations economic development.
Access to skills for the working poor
Access to skills training and education for the average unskilled worker in a developing country is virtually non-existent. Take Sub-Saharan Africa, where 15% of people enroll in high school, less than 1% enroll in any kind of post-secondary education and a staggering 80% of workers earn less than US$2/day. For these populations, student loans do not exist. Put simply, these workers are stuck; they will earn a poverty wage for their entire lives, and their children likely will too.