Out of Poverty
What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail
By Paul Polak
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Final Release Date: September 2009
Pages: 256

In this impassioned and iconoclastic book Paul Polak, entrepreneur, inventor, and “pioneer of pro-poor technologies” (CNN.com) tells why mainstream poverty eradication programs have fallen so sadly short and how he and the organization he founded, International Development Enterprises, developed an approach that has already succeeded in lifting 17 million people out of poverty.

Drawing on his more than twenty-five years of experience, Polak explodes what he calls the “Three Great Poverty Eradication Myths” and lays out an alternative: providing the dollar-a-day poor with innovative, low-cost tools that allow them to use the market to improve their lives. Polak tells fascinating and moving stories about the people he and IDE have helped, especially Krishna Bahadur Thapa, a Nepali farmer who went from barely surviving to becoming solidly upper middle class.
Out of Poverty offers a new and promising way to end world poverty, one that honors the entrepreneurial spirit of the poor themselves.

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