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FAQ about Economic Development Model in Target Areas

  • Why limit the size of the Target Area—don’t we want to help everyone?

    • We keep the number of people in the Target Area small to increase the likelihood of individual success—easier to raise the standard of living for 400 than for 4,000.  We want the project to succeed.  By working in a carefully delineated area we can see if the economic model is actually working.  We can answer this question:  “Are things better in the area where we worked than in the area where we did not work?”  This is a scientific research approach.

  • If we could bring in one big factory with jobs wouldn’t that be a better way to go? 

    • Not really.  We want to put a broad based economic floor under the Target Area.  We want a variety of money making activities and we want the residents personally involved in making this happen—we want them enrolled in increasing their incomes.  We want them to be empowered by their own efforts.   By the time this project is self-sustaining the residents will know how to create wealth—a skill they can use the rest of their lives and pass on to their children.

  • Won’t this require large investments of money and require rich donors? 

    • No, the initial focus is on microbusinesses, growing food, and jobs training.  Business owners making investments of USD$500 to USD$1,000 will be the norm.  Investments of $5,000 and $10,000 can be considered later on after success has clearly been established.

  • Has this ever been done before and do we have any proof it will work?

    • This particular project has not been done before.  But the concept is not new.  Economic development focused on a specific area has been done many times.  The video gave examples of  Paul Brinkley doing successful economic development in Iraq, Dolly Parton in Sevier County in Tennessee and the governor of Georgia bringing jobs to Georgia by inducing companies to locate in his state.  Economic development directed by experienced people has proved successful many times.  Whether it is high tech in Silicon Valley or donkey carts in Somalia, focused economic development works.  The key is having experienced business owners maintain sustained focus on the Target Area over time.

  • How much does one family sized Aquaculture system (fish/vegetables growing together) cost?

    • Depending on materials chosen, $250 to $500 to get it in operation.  The family will also have to learn how to manage the system—to keep the fish healthy and grow the vegetables.

  • How do the poor people living in the Target Area actually get more money?

    • They can get money in two different ways:  get hired for a job and be co-investors with an experienced business owner.  First, some Exploratory Group members will start a microbusiness in the Target Area and hire, in rotation, various residents to help operate it.  Or, the business owners will hire some residents to work in an operation outside of the Target area.  Secondly, Business owners will offer partnerships in microbusinesses, in and out of the Target Area, to worthy residents who have proved their willingness to learn and their diligence.  These residents will share in the profits from the microbusiness.

  • Do you have a list of proven businesses that can be set up in the Target Area?

    • In the end, the Exploratory Group will decide which businesses, and when, to introduce to the Target Area.  They will also determine when to start the classes on personal wealth building.  As Recipe For Hope gains experience, it will be able to predict which businesses tend to work best.  Circumstances vary and so will the choice of businesses.  Some examples are: motor cycle repair, mini store for daily essentials operated from the home, aquaculture, solar [making panels and installing], mini store for beauty products, water and wells, tires and tire repair, light mechanics, pumps, toilets, growing food, livestock [goats, rabbits chickens, pigs], automotive battery rejuvenation, oil seed press, earthbag technology housing, mini pharmacies, clothes making, making sandwiches and other ready-to-eat food.

  • How would it actually get started—what would be the first steps?

    • During the week of training with Dr.Epps, the Target Area is chosen.  Trainees learn how to conduct a survey.  Committed Exploratory group members are chosen.  These members conduct a “baseline” survey of conditions in the Target Area.  They review the results, write goals and activities to support those goals.   They want the residents to earn money.  They decide which specific business(es) to start first.  They continue to start more businesses (in and out of the Target Area) that give the residents chances to earn money.  The Exploratory Group evaluates the success of the businesses they have started and plan which new ones to start.  They also decide how to involve the residents in bringing more and more commerce to the Target Area.  When they have earned the trust and support of many of the residents, the Exploratory Group will start classes on personal wealth building and they will explain the role of Recipe For Hope in the Target Area.

  • Will there be financial profits?

    • Yes.  There will be profits, or earnings, at two points: first, the experienced business owners who become Agents for Recipe For Hope will start businesses in or near the Target Area to create employment for the Target Area residents.  The Agents need for those businesses to be profitable because the profits will pay them a commission from Recipe For Hope.  They cannot stay in business if they do not make a profit.  Second, the residents of the Target Area will earn money by being hired to work in the businesses created and by becoming partners with experienced business owners.  Their lives are improved by having salaried jobs, becoming partners, growing much of their own food, and raising small livestock.

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