Universal Basic Income (UBI) takes care of sustenance needs, and SESED (Figure 1), can complement UBI to achieve poverty alleviation. This will be through a small business enterprise, whose success is facilitated by SESED given the peace of mind that UBI provides.

Figure 1 – A Systemic Ecosystem for Socio-Economic Development (SESED)

The SESED is a network of interconnected interdependent small businesses operated by people who are being helped to uplift themselves from poverty. These ventures are initially funded by microloans availed from sponsors, through Fintech companies. 

The success of the business is ensured by a strategy of “benefits for all” modus operandi. Thus, the vested interests of all stakeholders are procured upfront. 

The access to credit and the success of the enterprise evolves into income generation, from which aspirations, such as education for children, good health by proper nourishment and peace of mind, etc., are shaped.     

These aspirations create buying power, now that the funds for these are available.  

Though these ventures are small, the overall increased aggregate demand will create a whirlpool in the sluggish economy of the present, and result in a broader, vibrant, and sustainable one.    

A key feature for the success of the venture is the “System”. This essentially facilitates the end-to-end process, and whose main responsibilities are: 

  1. Borrower Education – Financial Literacy, Business Acumen, Skills Development, Psychological Interventions, etc.
  2. Enable access to credit via an efficient income distribution system; e.g., an interface with the Fintech company, manual distribution of funds.
  3. Manage the Supply and Demand value chain – e.g., suppliers must also be consumers, and vice-versa, of the products of the enterprises as appropriate. This could be along the lines of the Japanese innovation of “Keiretsu”.
  4. Foster a vested interest from the sponsor in the success of the enterprise for a win-win relationship.
  5. Tailor local solutions – i.e., targeted business development and bottom-up innovation; e.g., the product could be made available in a cheaper one-time use package, as well the regular one. 
  6. Mitigate the risk of loan default.
  7. Deal with the idiosyncrasies of the society – e.g., in most 3rd world countries bribes are a norm, and extortions can be present as well.  

The late Professor C. K. Prahalad, together with Professor Stuart L. Hart urged corporations to note “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”, and espoused “Eradicating Poverty Through Profits”.   

It is thus that, not only is the primary outcome of poverty alleviation of UBI with SESED paramount, but they fall through benefits of 1) increased revenue for corporations due to the increased aggregate demand, and 2) the interest on the loans plus “fractional dividends” in the form of profits sharing for the sponsors, that stand out as unique, different and pragmatic in this model. 

Thus, UBI with SESED will then be an “Auspicium Melioris Aevi” – an Augury of a Better Age.

M.Pandurangan

linkedin.com/in/mpandurangan 

7 Mar 2022

References:

  1. Standing, Guy – “Basic Income: And How We Can Make It Happen”
  2. Ruskin, John – “Unto This Last”
  3. More, Thomas – “Utopia”
  4. Schumacher, E.F. – “Small is Beautiful”
  5. Prahalad, C. K. – “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits”

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