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Poverty: hand-outs don’t help

Market trends

Poverty: hand-outs don’t help

As a result of the financial crisis, rather than decreasing, poverty is on the rise. Not just in the developing countries, but closer to home too. Poverty is not an isolated fact, but a complex phenomenon that affects all aspects of life.


In Belgium, one-fifth of the population live in a precarious situation of poverty or exclusion. These people on low incomes spend around 10 billion euros a year on basic necessities such as housing, food, energy and medical care. They usually pay more than people on high incomes, because they have less access to favourable market conditions and prices. Addressing this inequality is a challenge that the government and civil society cannot take on alone. Businesses and entrepreneurs who actively engage in the provision of services and products to those on low incomes will ultimately reap the reward.

MicroStart is a grouping of social businesses that help entrepreneurs who fall outside the conventional banking system to start up or expand their own business. They do this by offering microloans of between 500 and 10,000 euros and individual or collective guidance on finance, management, legal affairs and bookkeeping.



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