About Micro-EnterpriseThrough its GEAR Enterprise division, GEAR partners with micro-entrepreneurs around the world. Because of systemic poverty in developing countries, many families do not have access to quality education, infrastructure and work opportunities. They have to create their own opportunities. In developing nations, micro-enterprises comprise the vast majority of small businesses–out of necessity.
Around the world 795 million people do not have enough food to eat. 98 percent of the world’s under-nourished population live in developing countries. 50 percent of women who are pregnant lack the essential medical care they need, which causes over 300,000 maternal deaths a year. Every 10 seconds a child dies from hunger.
GEAR is working to help change this. For decades, the world has given charity to developing nations. And, while it has helped drive the poverty level lower, GEAR believes that it is essential to provide families work opportunities.
Micro-entrepreneurs are small business owners who decide to find their own economic path out of poverty with minimal employee and capital investment. GEAR works with micro-entrepreneurs who set up “shop”, which can be a blanket laid down at a market with re-purposed products. Micro-enterprises are typically operated by one or two people within a family. If a business grows to a store, for example, micro-entrepreneurs tend to hire other family members and perhaps friends.
Due to the lack of formal jobs available for impoverished communities, micro-enterprises add value to local and national economies in developing countries. Micro-enterprises create job opportunities, enhance incomes and purchasing power. They also lower the overall cost of business.