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SEVEN Fund Call for Proposal

SEVEN (Social Equity Venture Fund) is a virtual non-profit entity run by entrepreneurs whose strategy is to markedly increase the rate of innovation and diffusion of Enterprise-based Solutions to Poverty. It does this by targeted investment that fosters thought leadership through books, films and websites supporting role models - whether they are entrepreneurs or innovative firms - in developing nations and shaping a new discourse in government, the press and the academy around private sector innovation, prosperity and progressive human values.
Foreign economic aid and government programs have spent billions of dollars during the past five decades to alleviate the high number of people living in poverty. No country has been lifted out of poverty as a result of these efforts, but the mindset remains the same: aid programs are the key to poverty alleviation.
Entrepreneurship, as a solution to eradicate poverty (i.e. a focus on wealth creation rather than poverty reduction via re-distribution), remains controversial because it goes against the prevailing mindset that solutions to public problems are created by the government, rather than from the private sector. The notion of creating wealth is often stigmatized, and businesspeople in developing nations are sometimes regarded as too self-interested to be a force for positive social change.
There are efforts by international organizations and personalities that aim to correct this, but these efforts often turn into “top-down” and “social engineering” solutions, or into calls for philanthropic donations and handouts, rather than focusing on economic integration, improved productivity, and growth. The prevalent mindset in trying to “solve” the problem of poverty focuses too little on the opportunity these new, vast markets represent as a way to create producers and consumers, and to connect all people to networks of productivity and exchange.
At the core of the approach to poverty alleviation is the basic question: Are individual persons, no matter where they live, able to determine their own future? Does positive change come from the ingenuity of the individual or does a group of us (well-educated Westerners, primarily) have to tell the rest what to do? The answer to these questions goes to the core of our view of how we see the person, as fatalistic or self-determined and it determines whether our proposed solution to an issue like poverty involves a “top-down” approach or a “bottom-up” solution. Indeed, to what extent do we rest the locus of responsibility for a person’s future on him or her or on others, out of their beneficence?
The aim of SEVEN Fund sponsored research is to challenge the prevailing state of mind in this field. We want to answer the question of whether wealth-creation may be the most effective solution to alleviate poverty. We invest our efforts and resources to find, research, and document examples where entrepreneurial success is shown to have led to poverty alleviation. In the process, we will seek to inspire entrepreneurs in developing countries with advice, investments, role models, and services. 
Original post by http://www.sevenfund.org/enterprise-solutions-poverty/index.php

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