Author: Kiruthika S, Awareness Officer

Economic opportunity by definition is the means to purchase, sell, lease or contract transactions or arrangements with a consultant gaining economic benefits. However, in more basic terms, economic opportunities correspond to the realisation of personal potential and possess the means to gain beneficiary outcome. However, with the growing inequality in the financial market due to poverty, unequal economic development, global warming and other environmental factors including exhaustion of non-renewable resources, have paved the path to meagre regulations in the financial market.

‘Today’s economy is at a crossroads’ says Maureen Conway, Vice president and executive director of Economic Opportunities Program (EPO) who has been aiming to connect different strategies to improve education and skills in low and moderate income workers alongside ensuring fair pay, safety and health. It has come into light that far too many people around us face challenges connecting to quality work, starting business or building assets and stability. In certain places around the world, women and people of colour tend to receive these challenges at an acute level. Yet, it is surprising to notice how millions of people around the world with brilliant ideas and products are left stagnant due to inaccessibility and poor economic resources. These opportunity barriers include high levels of income inequality, unequal access to educational opportunities, and residential segregation by income and inadequate investments in children mark slower employment recovery. Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist and Economic Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden pointed out in his testimony at the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities in 2017, that the barrier is more obvious to the rural population as compared to the metro areas in terms of employment recovery. Ultimately, the reasons narrow down to acknowledge the problems faced by millions around the world who do not have access to strong financial markets and services.

In the Western Hemisphere, a non-governmental organisation, Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) started in 1962 by Organisation of American States (OAS) has been tirelessly aiming to bridge stakeholders to bring about sustainable economic development, strengthen civil society and respond to natural disasters in Latin America and Caribbean. PADF believes that the key to development is self sufficiency. PADF has been working to create economic opportunities by generating livelihoods, developing micro, small and medium community enterprise, supporting agricultural & rural development, protecting and conserving the environment, implementing public-private partnerships and facilitating cross-border cooperation.

Here are some of the prominent ways by which economic opportunities are improvised.

  1. Empowering individuals to grow private ventures in an assortment of fields
  2. Training individuals to become powerful chiefs, advertisers and entrepreneurs
  3. Helping families in underserved networks get to budgetary administrations, including building nearby organizations that present investment funds, advances and protection items
  4. Elevating cooperatives to assist people with pooling their assets and expand their gaining force and potential
  5. Helping people group in accessing nearby markets and improving the estimation of items to expand benefits
  6. Connecting farmers to increment their harvest yield so the overflow can be sold for money

There is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution to these challenges we face. More often than ever, different strategies pose as competing ideas rather than potential complements. It is most effective to focus on how to create synergies across the different strategies to get that effective and systematic solution we are aiming at.