Pareto Efficient

In search of pareto improvements

Step #1: Picking your poverty niche — Becoming a Social Entrepreneur

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Poverty is a complex and stratified problem consisting of many inter-linked regional, environmental, cultural and political variables.  When I started digging into it, my small mind was quickly overwhelmed.

Its obvious that the “poverty market” must be narrowed, and just as a business evaluates a market segment before exploring product/market fit, so must a social entrepreneur or altruist evaluate the cycle of poverty and decide which niche to pursue.

Picking a Niche

Picking a niche is hard.  There are so many things you could do, the only thing that matters is that you pick something that you’re truly passionate about (also true in business).

You should narrow the market as much as possible, so use as many factors as possible.  See some examples below:

1.  A people with whom you identify

Can you think of a life experience that you, your friend(s) or you family member(s) may have had that would link you to another less fortunate group of people somewhere in the world?  For example, if you were adopted, you might identify with orphans who are less lucky than you.

If not, then skip to #2.

2.  A region that you feel moved to help

Is there a particular town or region that holds special significance to you?

If so, then research this area’s people and specific problems on Wikipedia, Google News, and the CIA Factbook.

If not, then read the world news at, Google News or poverty blogs and cross reference countries or regions with the Wikipedia and the CIA Factbook to get more info on the area and its issues.

3.  An organization with a mission you really believe in

Do you, your friends or relatives belong or give money to an organization that helps people in poverty?

If so, find out who they help and where — and use those as your answers for #1 and #2 above.

If not, then you can find some organizations at Charity Navigator.

If you still haven’t found a group/region niche that you feel passionate about, then talk with your friends and get some ideas from them.  Or, if you are of means, travel to a couple impoverished areas near you or elsewhere in the world.

So what’s my niche?


Written by thetyson

March 1, 2008 at 12:26 pm

4 Responses

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  1. […] This post references the post titled “Picking your niche in the poverty market“. […]

    Pareto Efficient

    October 16, 2008 at 2:46 pm

  2. […] My niche This post references the post titled “Picking your niche in the poverty market“. […]

  3. […] the method Now that we have used our framework to decide on a poverty niche.  We much choose the most effective way to battle the problem(s) […]

  4. […] part of a two part series entitled “Becoming a Social Entrepreneur”.  Be sure to Pick your Poverty Niche before reading this […]

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