By Rieva Lesonsky
Where does the future of our world lie? In the hands of entrepreneurs—specifically, young entrepreneurs. That’s the message former president Bill Clinton had for his audience earlier this month at the Summit Series, a three-day conference for young entrepreneurs.
Globalization has brought both positives and negatives to the world of business. “The mission of humanity and the mission of America in the 21st century is to build up the positive and reduce the negative forces of our interdependence,” Clinton told the young entrepreneurs, CNNMoney.com reports.
Noting that half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day, Clinton said that business can fill the gap between what government agencies need to do to help and those agencies’ cash-strapped budgets.
“In the best of all worlds you will have a continuous interface with what is done by the government, the private sector and the NGOs [non-governmental organizations],” he said. “Businesses can find a way to make money with a humanitarian rule.”
Examples of areas where Clinton says entrepreneurs could make a difference are rebuilding Haiti, providing health care to poor nations and delivering medicine to the third world.
The 600-plus attendees soaked up his message. As one audience member noted: “The line between business and social causes is blurring, at least for this generation.”
I’ve always believed in the power of young people as entrepreneurs and innovators. If those young entrepreneurs can turn their energy, enthusiasm and creativity toward not only making money, but making the world a better place, we’ll all be better for their efforts.