Poor people are the world's greatest entrepreneurs?

33 replies
Here's a quote from Muhammad Yunus,

He is a social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance)


"In my experience, poor people are the world's greatest entrepreneurs. Every day, they must innovate in order to survive. They remain poor because they do not have the opportunities to turn their creativity into sustainable income."

- Muhammad Yunus


Love to hear your thoughts on this
#entrepreneur #entrepreneurs #greatest #people #poor #world
  • Profile picture of the author Believe In You
    How can the world's greatest entrepreneurs remain poor if they constantly innovate?

    He may have a point but this quote is self-contradictory of sorts.
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    • Profile picture of the author sttbs
      Originally Posted by Believe In You View Post

      How can the world's greatest entrepreneurs remain poor if they constantly innovate?

      He may have a point but this quote is self-contradictory of sorts.
      Yep.. agree.. the greatest entrepreneurs own big companies. How can they be poor? Perhaps they can start off poor. But they will not remain poor.
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  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    The entire world of economics disagrees with this premise.
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Working hard and being clever/resourceful, which in this case is being confused with entrepreneurial innovation, is what the poor have to do to get by.

      Cleverness and resourcefulness are akin to making a full meal out of minimal ingredients or building a hut out of whatever you can find. That's not really innovation.

      There is also a massive difference between the poverty mindset and one of wealth.

      Entrepreneurs tend to be able to shift themselves out of the poverty mindset to one of abundance. Not all of them do this, just like not all businesses are equally as profitable, but many do.
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyroad
    my oppinion that's false: poor leads to basic needs. If you poor and your fridge is empty- you want to eat, it will not lead to inovations; othervise maybe- if you are smart enough.

    All entrepreneurs can tell storry: how poor they were and which point they are now, how they become entrepreneurs at all. These stories simillar to: How to become successfull, gives you some knowledge and motivation
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  • Profile picture of the author fantrom
    Before we begin let's first define poor.
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    • Profile picture of the author @tjr
      Originally Posted by fantrom View Post

      Before we begin let's first define poor.
      To struggle (or fail) to provide yourself basic needs and comforts.
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      • Profile picture of the author fantrom
        Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

        To struggle (or fail) to provide yourself basic needs and comforts.
        Well that definition of poor just about eliminates most of the recent well known entrepreneurs.

        Most of them seem to have started well above the poverty line.
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  • That quote must have been made decades ago?
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  • Profile picture of the author nmwf
    Never heard of the guy, so thanks for introducing him.

    On another note, I kind of wrinkle my nose at people who laud the very people that they're profiting from -- especially the poor.
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  • Profile picture of the author PennyBurgess
    I fail to understand the underlying message of it, I don't agree poor people are greatest entrepreneurs..
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  • Profile picture of the author Areful Eeslam
    He is from Bangladesh, poor country when started in early 80's. Fought a great battle now he is victim of his own government & forcing to taken down his bank and other ventures
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  • The most skillful hunter in the forest may not live in the most luxurious house.

    If he ran out of arrows while hunting, he still have his traps.
    If his traps doesn't work, he still have his spear.
    If his spear is broken, he still can fight with a stick he finds on the ground.
    If his stick breaks too, he grabs anything to throw at his prey or predator.
    If his prey is blinded, he uses his hands for the hunt.
    If his predator is stunned, he runs away.
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  • Profile picture of the author deckers
    I believe once they success they ain't becoming rich and greedy person, more like humble down to earth people...
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      I think it would be more accurate to say "hungry" people (not necessarily poor) are the greatest entrepreneurs. Just so happens most (not all) of the hungriest people are usually poor.

      When I say hungry, I'm not just talking physically. I'm talking mentally, financially and psychologically.

      They're willing to do what satisfied, comfortable or comfort zoned people won't do.

      When people are hungry ...
      • They have more of a "Whatever it Takes Attitude" as opposed to the "That's Good Enough Attitude" most people have.
      • They're more willing to face failure, rejection or risk than other people.
      • They'll go the extra mile, persist longer and sacrifice more when others are ready to quit.
      When I work with or hire people to work with me, those are the top 3 traits I look for.

      You can be rich and successful and still be hungry, but it's a lot harder. Most people "let up" on the pedal once they achieve a level of success. That's why it's so hard for most sports teams to win back to back championships.

      Here's a Classic Video on the Power of Being Hungry.

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  • Profile picture of the author ShannonWhite
    Just be in the moment and be there for yourself. A quote from Robert Kiyosaki goes something like "Before you can go from being poor to being rich, your mind must first go from being por to being rich".
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  • Profile picture of the author DonaldGutierrez
    Would have to to disagree, they are different for sure, some of them are pure genius as well but haven't met a single broke guy who showcased the true entreprenuer within him..
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  • Profile picture of the author ebaseMrk
    A poor person with a great attitude can achieve whatever he or she desires by their sheer will and perseverance. They will overcome any obstacles along their way and climb to heights they so desire. When people with great attitude cross the path of pain and suffering, opportunities will result if the individual possesses vision. It is their ability to have a clear vision of purpose that determines their entrepreneurial sustainability. Money is just a tool it does not define the human soul nor will. So essentially poor people can be great entrepreneurs where there is the will.
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  • Profile picture of the author GforceSage
    I think the term "Poor" is subjective here.
    What is true, when you look at a lot very successful entrepreneurs is that many were at a point in life where they almost had to take a chance on something because their back was against the wall in some way. Maybe it was a job loss, a pay reduction, no job, or going crazy in a job they despise.

    Having read about many successful people, there is a recurring theme for many that would support your statement. Often, they have gone from dire straights and worked their way up to make sure they never experienced that low again.

    Lots of people become creatures of habit and get stuck going through the motions in life. Some have trouble overcoming their fears and finding the drive and fortitude to excel in a new endeavor. The more desperate person, almost has to take that leap because their options are more limited.
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  • Profile picture of the author C G
    Haha nice one.

    Cheers,

    C.G.
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    here is the problem with quotes taken out of context .. if you do not know who the person giving the quote is ..what micro lending is ..and your concept of poor people is the american poor ..then you have a terrible point of view on this ..

    a huge chunk of the human poluplation ..several billion live off of 2 dollars or les a day ..and have very few opportunities based of the economic conditions they where born into and they do not have the skill or ability to emegrate to some where with more opportunity .

    in many cases these people have no choice but to become entrapenuers to survive ..the problem is most end up owing money to loan sharks who lend money at terrible interest rates ..

    there is a difference between the greatest and the most successful.. or the richest ..

    so lets say poor people in the USA who where born here ..and conditioned to be workers ..probably will never be great entrapeneurs ..

    but let say you take someone who is poor and enegrates to the US or a western country from a poor country after having learned to live off their business talents back home ..may look poor to you but there are many i have run into..that are paying off land back home running a small business here and after a few years go back and live like kings .
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  • Profile picture of the author bennyvaldes
    Well I think the quote can be taken from different aspects. Maybe 2 different positions if you will.
    The poor guy and the rich guy.
    If you sit a poor guy at a table and show him the quote he'd probably tell you "Yeah. I can innovate."
    While a rich guy might have a different perspective and he might feel like he had to teach the poor guy a thing or two. It's kind of how you see it. Your position and perspective on it. If you take a business, the same business and tell 2 people to grow that business for a year and not sharing each others strategies. They both would come out with 2 different ways of approach and probably different results. It all depends on who's running the ship. You might have a crazy lucky "rich entrepreneur" who just got lucky here and there and was at the right places at the right times. Or, you can probably attest the same for a "poor entrepreneur" who is just amazingly smart and just lazy.
    It just differs in everyone. Believe me, i've seen a couple of just really unintelligent entrepreneurs who claim they were poor sleeping on sofas who with mentors and people directing them got to where they are. You have to count the outside influences too. Since mentorship is such an important part of entrepreneurship.
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  • Profile picture of the author SuccesfulIideas
    I agree, because if you don't have anything and you don't have any savings in the bank. you are hunger for success, you will do anything to make your life better

    You will leave everything behind because you know the feeling of pain of failure and feeling less in everything. you are motivated to make your life better
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    • Originally Posted by ebaseMrk View Post

      A poor person with a great attitude can achieve whatever he or she desires by their sheer will and perseverance. They will overcome any obstacles along their way and climb to heights they so desire. When people with great attitude cross the path of pain and suffering, opportunities will result if the individual possesses vision. It is their ability to have a clear vision of purpose that determines their entrepreneurial sustainability. Money is just a tool it does not define the human soul nor will. So essentially poor people can be great entrepreneurs where there is the will.
      Thanks ebaseMrk for putting much thought into your reply for us. Yes, people with great attitude where there is the will goes a long way!

      Originally Posted by GforceSage View Post

      I think the term "Poor" is subjective here.
      What is true, when you look at a lot very successful entrepreneurs is that many were at a point in life where they almost had to take a chance on something because their back was against the wall in some way. Maybe it was a job loss, a pay reduction, no job, or going crazy in a job they despise.

      Having read about many successful people, there is a recurring theme for many that would support your statement. Often, they have gone from dire straights and worked their way up to make sure they never experienced that low again.

      Lots of people become creatures of habit and get stuck going through the motions in life. Some have trouble overcoming their fears and finding the drive and fortitude to excel in a new endeavor. The more desperate person, almost has to take that leap because their options are more limited.
      Great point there GforceSage, the term is subjective from where we choose to look at it. The last sentence you wrote does instill some anguish in some of us

      Originally Posted by C G View Post

      Haha nice one.

      Cheers,

      C.G.
      Cheers!
      Bro Fist

      Originally Posted by fantrom View Post

      Well that definition of poor just about eliminates most of the recent well known entrepreneurs.

      Most of them seem to have started well above the poverty line.
      Definitions and context differ, nice point there.

      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      here is the problem with quotes taken out of context .. if you do not know who the person giving the quote is ..what micro lending is ..and your concept of poor people is the american poor ..then you have a terrible point of view on this ..

      a huge chunk of the human poluplation ..several billion live off of 2 dollars or les a day ..and have very few opportunities based of the economic conditions they where born into and they do not have the skill or ability to emegrate to some where with more opportunity .

      in many cases these people have no choice but to become entrapenuers to survive ..the problem is most end up owing money to loan sharks who lend money at terrible interest rates ..

      there is a difference between the greatest and the most successful.. or the richest ..

      so lets say poor people in the USA who where born here ..and conditioned to be workers ..probably will never be great entrapeneurs ..

      but let say you take someone who is poor and enegrates to the US or a western country from a poor country after having learned to live off their business talents back home ..may look poor to you but there are many i have run into..that are paying off land back home running a small business here and after a few years go back and live like kings .
      Brilliant answer with some nice examples. Context and how we look at it does make a difference on how we take it to go further.

      Originally Posted by bennyvaldes View Post

      Well I think the quote can be taken from different aspects. Maybe 2 different positions if you will.
      The poor guy and the rich guy.
      If you sit a poor guy at a table and show him the quote he'd probably tell you "Yeah. I can innovate."
      While a rich guy might have a different perspective and he might feel like he had to teach the poor guy a thing or two. It's kind of how you see it. Your position and perspective on it. If you take a business, the same business and tell 2 people to grow that business for a year and not sharing each others strategies. They both would come out with 2 different ways of approach and probably different results. It all depends on who's running the ship. You might have a crazy lucky "rich entrepreneur" who just got lucky here and there and was at the right places at the right times. Or, you can probably attest the same for a "poor entrepreneur" who is just amazingly smart and just lazy.
      It just differs in everyone. Believe me, i've seen a couple of just really unintelligent entrepreneurs who claim they were poor sleeping on sofas who with mentors and people directing them got to where they are. You have to count the outside influences too. Since mentorship is such an important part of entrepreneurship.
      benny: Agree that outside influences does play a big part in some people's life. An enlightenment of mindset and direction to walk to could set the mind running towards the right direction at times

      Originally Posted by SuccesfulIideas View Post

      I agree, because if you don't have anything and you don't have any savings in the bank. you are hunger for success, you will do anything to make your life better

      You will leave everything behind because you know the feeling of pain of failure and feeling less in everything. you are motivated to make your life better
      Cheers. Motivated to make life better. That does sum up the concept very nicely
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  • Profile picture of the author unknowncat
    Calling them the 'greatest' is a judgement call, not a fact. Now, to say the greatest number of entrepreneurs are poor, that may or may not be a fact I don't know. Saying that the poor are some of the worlds most innovative and hard working entrepreneurs, now that's general enough to be accurate. To say that people in poverty are the worlds greatest resource for developing global prosperity through entrepreneurial-ism, while likely being true that would just sound like a plug for his projects.

    But the comment about 'every day they must innovate in order to survive', that's a solid point..
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    • Originally Posted by unknowncat View Post

      Calling them the 'greatest' is a judgement call, not a fact. Now, to say the greatest number of entrepreneurs are poor, that may or may not be a fact I don't know. Saying that the poor are some of the worlds most innovative and hard working entrepreneurs, now that's general enough to be accurate. To say that people in poverty are the worlds greatest resource for developing global prosperity through entrepreneurial-ism, while likely being true that would just sound like a plug for his projects.

      But the comment about 'every day they must innovate in order to survive', that's a solid point..
      Great point you made there unknowncat. "every day they must innovate in order to survive".

      when competition is tough and resources are low, immerse willpower and street smarts are called to action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan S
    Originally Posted by AlexanderSkyHeart View Post

    "In my experience, poor people are the world's greatest entrepreneurs. Every day, they must innovate in order to survive. They remain poor because they do not have the opportunities to turn their creativity into sustainable income."
    - Muhammad Yunus

    Love to hear your thoughts on this
    This quotation is "fundamentally flawed!". Intellectually clever people are not necessarily entrepreneurs. You maybe the top innovators in the universe with doctorate degree and an IQ of 200 but without entrepreneurship in mind, you will die poor. Entrepreneurship simply means "business". Nikola Tesla, the inventor of alternating current is dubbed as the best electrical engineer of all time far better than Thomas Edison but wham! Tesla died penniless while Edison died rich and created top brands that survived the century simply because Edison was an entrepreneur while Tesla wasn't. Another example is a very clever Southeast Asian engineer who retired to an unassuming life elsewhere but used to be one of the prime movers of a certain Fortune top 1000 company owned by a primary school educated Chinese billionaire who cannot even speak good English! The engineer was poor because unlike the Chinese, he was not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have big dreams and their usual journey is the road to riches that's why many entrepreneurs are rich and many more are going to be rich.
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    • Profile picture of the author More Than Tips
      I see examples of this every single day.

      Just like an artist may not have the marketing skills to sell their works.

      I remember reading about a woman in the Philippines who had the idea to filet Bangus fresh fish then package it and sell it..long story short.....now a multi millionaire.

      The story went further to say that she asked her friends and relatives to give her an advance on her Death offerings! I guess that is a tradition of giving money once you are dead.

      She took that money and created an empire. Not everyone will have the creative smarts to get their ideas off the ground but I have seen the street smart survival ingenuity and its just incredible. So many talented poor people never heard of eBay to sell their crafts or an etsy.
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  • Originally Posted by AlexanderSkyHeart View Post

    Here's a quote from Muhammad Yunus,

    He is a social entrepreneur, banker, economist and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance)


    "In my experience, poor people are the world's greatest entrepreneurs. Every day, they must innovate in order to survive. They remain poor because they do not have the opportunities to turn their creativity into sustainable income."

    - Muhammad Yunus


    Love to hear your thoughts on this
    i agree. it is said, necessity is the mother of invention.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McGovern
    When I want to get high, I drive on the highway. That means you don't compromise with mediocrity and choose the path to perfection, not the path of least resistance and the low hanging fruit paradigm. Visualize who you want to be and flesh in that role daily. You will start noticing changes soon enough. Take a piece of paper and note your flaws: indulge yourself lacking those flaws. Good, now you're on the next level. Keep refining yourself. Remember, small changes add up. You will get better in the process. Now ask a reason why? Why are you lacking those traits you're missing out on. What can you immediately do to make some notable progress. Affirmations can be added to the mix in your quest to evolution. Leave no stone unturned and dig deep inside.

    In future terms, you will no longer be a starving artist.
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    • Originally Posted by Jonathan S View Post

      This quotation is "fundamentally flawed!". Intellectually clever people are not necessarily entrepreneurs. You maybe the top innovators in the universe with doctorate degree and an IQ of 200 but without entrepreneurship in mind, you will die poor. Entrepreneurship simply means "business". Nikola Tesla, the inventor of alternating current is dubbed as the best electrical engineer of all time far better than Thomas Edison but wham! Tesla died penniless while Edison died rich and created top brands that survived the century simply because Edison was an entrepreneur while Tesla wasn't. Another example is a very clever Southeast Asian engineer who retired to an unassuming life elsewhere but used to be one of the prime movers of a certain Fortune top 1000 company owned by a primary school educated Chinese billionaire who cannot even speak good English! The engineer was poor because unlike the Chinese, he was not an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have big dreams and their usual journey is the road to riches that's why many entrepreneurs are rich and many more are going to be rich.
      Thank Jonathan for the details! Yes, the contrast does strike between Edison and Tesla, talents and mindset, set in a different journey and adventure. A mix in between might have made the difference for either but history still belonged to them both, Edison earlier and Tesla perhaps a little later

      Originally Posted by More Than Tips View Post

      I see examples of this every single day.

      Just like an artist may not have the marketing skills to sell their works.

      I remember reading about a woman in the Philippines who had the idea to filet Bangus fresh fish then package it and sell it..long story short.....now a multi millionaire.

      The story went further to say that she asked her friends and relatives to give her an advance on her Death offerings! I guess that is a tradition of giving money once you are dead.

      She took that money and created an empire. Not everyone will have the creative smarts to get their ideas off the ground but I have seen the street smart survival ingenuity and its just incredible. So many talented poor people never heard of eBay to sell their crafts or an etsy.
      Talent and skills together do make an amazing combination

      Originally Posted by citizenoftheweb20 View Post

      i agree. it is said, necessity is the mother of invention.
      Well said and summarized!

      Originally Posted by Mike McGovern View Post

      When I want to get high, I drive on the highway. That means you don't compromise with mediocrity and choose the path to perfection, not the path of least resistance and the low hanging fruit paradigm. Visualize who you want to be and flesh in that role daily. You will start noticing changes soon enough. Take a piece of paper and note your flaws: indulge yourself lacking those flaws. Good, now you're on the next level. Keep refining yourself. Remember, small changes add up. You will get better in the process. Now ask a reason why? Why are you lacking those traits you're missing out on. What can you immediately do to make some notable progress. Affirmations can be added to the mix in your quest to evolution. Leave no stone unturned and dig deep inside.

      In future terms, you will no longer be a starving artist.
      Sounds like a poem Thanks for the contribution!
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      Hi there, I am Alexander SkyHeart, pleasure to meet you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Warlord78
    Well said....
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  • Profile picture of the author allanrsm
    This is wonderful philosophy and lesson for the rest of us as the necessity for survival and progression can inspire a wonderful and amazing set of gifts that when brought to the surface of our awareness drives us to accomplish more than we could have ever envisaged.

    The question for the rest of us is what drive for necessity is causing us to explore the depths of our talents and abilities to create an excellence within ourselves.

    The potential is always there, what "starvation" are we going through to cause us to develop and allow this potential to see the light of day?
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