Inspiration, skills, and funding – Rather than charity

The poor do not need charity; they need inspiration. Charity only sends them a loaf of bread to keep them alive in their wretchedness, or gives them an entertainment to make them forget for an hour or two; but inspiration will cause them to rise out of their misery. If you want to help the poor, demonstrate to them that they can become rich; prove it by getting rich yourself. (William D. Wattles)

Let me start off by saying that I deeply respect the generosity of every person and organization who donates money to non-profit ventures, especially those that help those who are in desperate need. I am a director of a non-profit organization, so I want to not have this article come across as being ungrateful for, or dismissing the amazing work that non-profits do in our country.

However, when we look at the amount of money that has been donated over the past few decades since the birth of the New South Africa, and we look at the current state of our economy, then we have to recognize that we need more investment in the form of patient capital and high-risk venture capital into sustainable businesses.

I have recently been hugely encouraged by reading about the fact that Jannie Mouton is planning to give away most of his wealth. Alan Gray and Patrice Motsepe are another two hugely successful business people that have made similar moves.


As someone with a passion for eradicating poverty, I get even more excited when some of this money goes into investing into small businesses and helping them grow – which will make the investment grow and create more resources for further investment. At 5-2-50 we augment such investment by investing just-in-time skills to help businesses grow rapidly with their limited resources.

Every time we help someone in need, we alleviate a bit of poverty for as long as we can keep giving. Every time we create a good job through starting up and growing sustainable business, we eradicate a pocket of poverty, allowing one more person to fulfil a role of dignity and contribution in society.

5-2-50. Building Wealth. Creating Jobs. Eradicating Poverty.

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