Whenever a narrative about development is written, the focus is usually on the rural poor. The narrator often selectively forgets that there are also the urban poor which live in the flavellas of Rio to the slums of Dharavi. Slums in global mega cities are sometimes the economic engine of those regions. The domestic staff, factory labor, and the minimum wage staff all live in urban shanty towns.
Social Enterprises (or SE) usually cater to the rural folks in selling artisan products or bringing skills training. The use of microfinance by SEs such as Grameen and BRAC in Bangladesh has helped many rural poor start their own businesses. Microfinance is not only for the rural poor but can also apply to the urban poor in providing them credit access to start their own businesses. For example, Singapore-based microfinance SE, Milaap, is helping the poor urban communities in southern India in their quest for a better life. Read more