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Supporting small businesses in Mexico and in Canada August 14, 2008

Posted by Raul in Uncategorized.
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I have a long history of wanting to solve the world’s problems, the top one being poverty. Every since I was able to walk and talk, I remember that I always was amazed at the stories my parents would tell me. Being lawyers, they always worked really hard to stand on the right side of the law, and to protect those who may not have had the money to pay them (pro bono), if they believed that their cause was just.

Thus, I grew up with the firm belief that I (and my four brothers) could make a difference in the world. That we could indeed help solve some of this world’s problems. The one that still I find myself struggling with is poverty. If instead of doing a PhD in environmental studies I had done one in social policy or public policy, I guess I would feel that this inner desire is more fitting.

Today, I became fascinated by a really small business (in Mexico, the actual denomination is “micro-firm”). I love these micro-entrepreneurs. This (elderly) woman established a tiny workshop where she sews buttons, does hemming, iron pants, etc. She is the micro version of a laundry shop, I guess. But the most important thing to me is that she is fighting to stay afloat, and instead of resorting to begging and/or welfare, she is working. I admire people like this, and I wish I could find ways to help the poor in both countries. I hope I will be able to do so, maybe using this model.

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1. Thomasso - August 14, 2008

Hey Raul,

In a business & Economic course I took a year back, we were asked to come up with some recommendations that would promote small business growth, such as cottage industries and small service sectors companies so that they could compete with the large big box store and mega corps. such as GM and Walmart. One area that we tackled was the labour shortage that still persists today. Labour being the key ingredient of a successful business was in hot demand, and skilled labour was crucial. Teaching the mom and pop family business was one avenue that seem to be a recipe for failure because Western business models always say growth is the gaol.

So we ended up coming up with a totally different perspective that says lower taxes, give incentives and ease trade restrictions that most always favour the larger corporations.

Perhaps Canada and Mexico should learn the lessons of the American Dream and tear that chapter out of the business handbook and refocus our initiatives back to the micro business. From an environmental perspective, micro business would probably do a better job of sustaining our environment just in lower carbon emissions alone. I too am pro-small business, and I enjoy my walks to my local grosser, barber shop and farmers market.

2. songsinblue - August 14, 2008

Yeah, it’s so hard not to do something about world issues once you’ve been exposed to it eh?

Something I’m really passionate about is educating people about the sex trade in Asia. It is so sad and wrong that 4, 5, 6 year old girls have to sell themselves just to survive. But nothing will change until people stop turning a blind shoulder, and actually do something to stop it.

We can make a difference, it’s just a matter of getting out of our comfort zone to do it. 🙂

3. Putting back the public in public policy « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - September 3, 2008

[…] The need to support small local businesses. * The lack of a strong, nation-wide water policy in Canada and a deficient regional strategy in […]


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