Abating Unemployment to Emerge Strengthened from the Crisis

Unemployment has grown significantly with the global crisis, and abating it is critical to attain a sustainable way out of the crisis. We postulate that unemployment can and must be solved as we come out of the crisis rather than after. Otherwise, we could be adopting a way out that might end up reproducing the circumstances that led us to the crisis. There exist resources and instruments that are capable of abating unemployment, yet it is necessary to cause the determination and initiatives of diverse players to converge. The focal point is to ensure economic and social capital formation at the bottom of the pyramid by encouraging the prominent role the unemployed themselves and their communities can play.Unemployment has grown significantly with the global crisis, and defeating it is critical to attain a sustainable way out of the crisis. We postulate that unemployment can and must be solved as we come out of the crisis rather than after. Otherwise, a way out of the crisis with greater unemployment might reproduce or worsen the circumstances that led to the crisis [[See the basis for this claim in several Opinion Sur articles, e-books and books.]]. There exist resources and instruments that are capable of eradicating unemployment; yet, for them to be used it will be necessary to cause the determination and initiative of diverse players to converge.

This includes the public sector reorienting its policies and regulations; value chain leading businesses fully exercising their mesoeconomic responsibility; civil society organizations accompanying the process with technical and organizational assistance; the scientific and technological community contributing their critical input. This convergent action would generate a powerful synergy to deeply mobilize the entrepreneurial capacity of low and middle-income sectors, which is where very high unemployment rates are recorded. The focal, though not the only, point of the strategy is to ensure economic and social capital formation at the bottom of the pyramid. It is there where talent, need and determination to embark on productive and community activities nest; what it lacks are the means and a support system that can help materialize them.

Our countries should establish broadly supported policies regarding taxation, monetary issues and social and productive public spending that contribute to a smoother operation of small businesses and their communities; demand initiatives from leading value chain businesses intended to strengthen suppliers, distributors and subcontractors; encourage microfinance programs that facilitate the transformation of informal microproducers into well-structured production units; mobilize the scientific and technological community in support of small production; create local small production support funds; foster the creation of inclusive venture developers and socially and environmentally responsible angel investor networks. That is one plausible agenda.

This listing is neither limitative nor does it exhaust the possible fields of action, but it does reflect the variety of intervention instruments and mechanisms that today are available to facilitate capital formation at the base of the pyramid; with them it is possible to mobilize an immense social energy and production capacity which is all too poorly used today. It is not a question of ignorance or lack of instruments to encourage that social and economic capital formation; what remains weak is the political, entrepreneurial and civil society determination to allocate financial and institutional resources beyond the mere pilot experience with a view to attaining significant impacts.

It’s about abating unemployment and exclusion by mobilizing diverse players and, very specially, causing the unemployed themselves and their communities to take the spotlight. Changing their status of unemployed by generating decent jobs is of the essence, but not just in small, medium and large-sized businesses (it will be great if that happens), but also by making it possible that those who are qualified enough may act as independent entrepreneurs, as social organizers, as participants in inclusive ventures. Sur Norte Inversión y Desarrollo ([www.surnorte.org.ar->http://www.surnorte.org.ar]) and Opinión Sur have focused their greatest efforts on this field, developing in recent years a promising battery of instruments to support individual entrepreneur and inclusive ventures.

Leave a comment