Colonization, slave trade, bad political leaders… are the first things an average person living in a poor country will point out as the reasons for poverty and why they can’t have a better life. Depending on how you look at it, these people may have valid points. Yet, in spite of all of these, ordinary people still rise from rag to riches in the same country.
This is because, in the mist of all the problems and difficulties of living in a poor country, there lie huge opportunities for ordinary people to get rich. In fact, poor countries have some important advantages for creating huge wealth over already rich ones. If you understand these advantages, you can also make them work to your advantage to achieve financial stability while living in your country. Before we get to it, be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
To begin with, here are some important advantages to create wealth living in a poor country.
- Lower cost of living
With $1,000 per month, you can live comfortably in most African cities, but you may probably only afford to pay rent in Canada. Low cost of living in poor countries offers the advantage to keep more of the money you make; that is if you make above average income.
- Cheap currency
If you have a business that makes you the equivalent of $3,000 per month, you can easily be considered rich living in a poor country. But you’ll only get by with the same amount in the US.
- Cheaper labor
There is a reason companies in US and Europe moved their factories to China; they get cheaper labor there. Because poor countries have low cost of living and cheap currency, they are in a better position to offer cheaper labor.
For instance, the average minimum wage in most African countries is below $100 per month. Compare that to the US that is at average of $1,160. THAT’S OVER 10 TIMES DIFFERENCE. Businesses in poor countries can afford to hire and pay relatively low wages.
- Large population of young people
60 percent of the entire African population is below the age of 25. This is a large number of both work force and consumers.
Here is an example of how a business used all of these factors to its advantage. There is a severe shortage of skilled software developers in developed countries. And the cost of hiring these programmers is huge. So to solve this global problem, a group of people came together to start a company called Andela. Andela identifies and trains young software developers in Africa, and then outsource them to offer services to global companies. It currently has offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and the United States, and has attracted investments from such persons as Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder.
Andela and many other businesses in the continent are, leverage the young population in Africa, the low cost of living, cheap currency and cheap labor to build successful companies. They are able to get relatively cheap talent while serving a global market need. If you live in a poor country, and are driven enough to achieve success, you can get rich within the shores of your country.
Those who see the future get rich
A young boy once asked his father what the future will be like. “I don’t know” the father said. Then he added, “But I know it will be different from today”. Life is in progression. If you woke up from a 10 yearlong sleep today, you won’t believe how much the world has changed. And if you slept today to wake up 10 years from now, you won’t believe how much the world would have changed either.
When you consider the rate of unemployment in Africa and how our school system keep churning out fresh graduates every year with little to no new jobs created, you will say “thank God for information technology”.
You don’t want to imagine what unemployment would have been like if we didn’t have access to Information and communication technology. Many young people living in poor countries are creating jobs for themselves and for other people because of available technology tools and know-how.
The present we live today was the future of yesterday. We have all these tech enabled businesses, companies and jobs created due to technological advancement. The most successful people today are those who foresaw the future at the emergence of these changes. Many of these people abandoned lucrative careers because they foresaw huge opportunities in the information technology revolution. The earlier they saw the future the greater chance of success they had.
Now, there is a future ahead of us. And those who foresee this future will be destined to grow rich. In other words, wealth is created by those who see the future and get involved in creating it. For example;
Many people fail to understand that agriculture is way beyond a poverty alleviation scheme. Agriculture is real business; it is the future. According to the United Nations, Africa’s agribusiness industry will be worth $1 trillion by 2030! That is about half of the current GDP of all African countries combined.
Africa currently spends billions of dollars every year to import grains, flour and all kinds of processed foods which can be produced locally. A number of young entrepreneurs have foreseen a future where Africa not only feeds itself but also feeds nations across the world. These people are creating agribusinesses powered by technology and crowdfunding. They are helping create the future they see in agriculture.
On one hand, waste disposal is a major problem in many poor and low income countries. On the other hand effective waste management is a huge business opportunity. Businesses are springing up to recycle waste into reusable products and renewable energy. These entrepreneurs are not just solving an environmental problem, they are also creating valuable products and services in the process. This supports the simple logic; if you want to get rich in any country, identify a real problem and offer a solution. Poor countries have an abundance of problems. The more people solve these problems the richer they get. You just have to see where the world is headed and join in creating that future.
Other opportunities of the future today
Artificial intelligence, Drone, machine learning, 3D printing, Blockchain, renewable energy; these are some of the current wave of opportunities. If you don’t feel too excited about an emerging opportunity, immense yourself into learning about its potential and what it’s already being used for. You may find inspiration on how to take advantage of the technology to create remarkable change.
Replicate Existing Business Models in other Countries
The interesting thing about achieving success in career or business is that you don’t need a fresh idea. Simply take what you have seen work in another societies and start it locally. Jason Njoku, observed how movie distribution works in the UK and USA and started IrokoTv to organize Nollywood movie distribution in Nigeria and Africa. A group of young people saw how Amazon works in US and started Jumia. These companies have so far attracted hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign investors.
Uber first developed the online ride hailing service in US in 2009, but other smart entrepreneurs have stepped in to take advantage of this 5 trillion dollar market to start local versions of ride hailing services. You too can look for idea that are already proven viable in other countries and start something similar.
Outsource your skill and knowledge online
Many online services are springing up from Asia and Africa to serve the global market; from digital Services, software development, ecommerce to travel, real estate and online education services. Today, you can be somewhere in Kenya or Nigeria and deliver services successful with someone in Australia or the UK. You only need a laptop or Smartphone with internet connection to start. If you are watching this video, you already have these basic requirements.
Understand this; living in a poor country offers the advantage to get cheap labor, low cost of living, cheap currency and a large workforce. If you can look ahead to foresee where the world is heading, you can position yourself to be a part of those creating that future today. That is how you’ll get rich living in a poor or low income country.
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