Two Africans, one African American — Each Creating an Environment for Prosperity in Africa

One launched a beverage business that now has a year’s worth of back orders. Another established a technology incubator. A third established and runs an organization to prevent the spread of AIDS and to care for its victims. Call them activists if you will: The three people profiled in The New York Times’Freakonomics” blog today “are tackling Africa’s most trenchant problems in vastly different ways but with a common goal: to create a new development paradigm for the continent.”

Another common factor in their efforts: They were built from the ground up, not with massive infusions of aid from overseas. Like the microfinance lending programs made popular by the Grameen Bank, these efforts demonstrate that small steps can lead to big change in emerging economies — a favorite Knowledge at Wharton theme.

More from Knowledge at Wharton:

To Be a Successful Entrepreneur in Africa, ‘Wake up Every Day Ready for Change’

Africa’s ‘Cocoon’ Phase: Can Private Investors and Entrepreneurs Transform the Continent?

‘Walk the Market’: Tapping into Africa’s 900 Million Consumers