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After six years of economic development work in Africa, Ernesto Sirolli witnessed how little most foreign aid programs were actually doing for the people they hoped to help -- from creating a communal tomato field on the banks of the Zambezi river (only to be demolished by the river's hippos at harvest time) to donating snow-ploughs to African nations! However well intentioned, Sirolli points out, inappropriate development often creates more problems than it solves. Thus was the genesis of this exciting and unique alternative to traditional economic development termed 'Enterprise Facilitation' -- where depressed communities can build hope and prosperity by first helping individuals to recognise their talents and business passion, and then providing the skills to transform their dreams into meaningful and rewarding work.
Ernesto Sirolli is the recipient of the Silver Jubilee Award for the Best Job Creating Project in Australia. He has six years experience working for local self-reliance in African countries and twelve years implementing Enterprise Facilitation programs in the US and other countries. He lives in St Paul, Minnesota.