Thursday 2019-02-21




By Majaha Nkonyane | 2018-02-14

ENTREPRENEURS in the rural areas have been described as making a more significant contribution to the economy and to the growth of the country’s GDP.

This is according to University of Swaziland Lecturer Clement Dlamini who is a contributing author to newly launched book ‘Smart Risks’.

“The book shares with the world how smart the people on the ground are, their contribution to the economy and how resilience has brought out true entrepreneurship which has helped in fostering sustainable development in poverty impoverished communities,” he said.

The book’s title,‘Smart Risks’ according to Dlamini, has been described as investing relatively small amounts of money in effective, visionary grassroots leaders, organisations, and movements.

Grant makers who take ‘smart risks’ find effective grassroots initiatives, build upon existing human and social capital and expertise, and make grants that are responsive to community leaders’ needs.

Dlamini said‘Smart Risks’is also an approach to grant making which builds on the dynamism, self-determination, innovation, and voluntary resources that community groups are able to generate.

It is an alternative to the funder-controlled, large-scale, international funding of the past. A ‘smart risk’ approach is based on the fact that people on the ground have the most important knowledge, ideas, and human resources to address the immense and complex challenges associated with global poverty and injustice.

This book, according to Dlamini, is for anyone who cares about global poverty and injustice.

“We recommend this book specifically for people who are looking to become more thoughtful and intentional in their international giving and philanthropy, or in global work of any sort, such as aid, social enterprise, corporate responsibility or impact investing,” he said.

The book has 22 authors from a broad section of the global development sector who are already taking ‘smart risks’.

They range from grantors and funders, to small grants advocates in larger organisations, programme managers, and community leaders in their own right – all united by why they do what they do. As a contributing author, Dlamini tackled investing in local expertise where his topic was‘An untapped resource for sustainable development’.

“Communities have built in resilience mechanisms, established on shared values and humane systems of mutual support.

“International efforts miss this, for example child headed households are usually viewed only as vulnerable. Consider how child headed households could be seen as the most resilient.

“Tasking smart risks with communities requires recognising that individuals have internal strengths and potential they draw upon, and recognising that different approaches to international partnerships are needed to build upon communities and peoples strengths,” he said.

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