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Norman Macrae 50 year search for curriculum of entrepreneurial revolution - period 3 (82-87) started search for 30000 microfranchises (see the 1984 book 2025 report); by period 8 (2007-2012), China excpeted, BRAC partners networks were in a clear lead with a catalogue of over 1000 microfranchises and the digital revolution of declared to be one of period 9's greatest yet gamechnagers in race empowering women to end extreme poverty

we never met a global brand network of parrberships that values girls lives more than BRAC - so it seems approriate to start tabulating waht jobs micrifranchises brac can help you design by sustainability goal

-we welcome doing this exercise by other great valuing youth networks - we are trying out a few at http;//economistchina,.net but welocme your suggestions

what we hadnt fully anticipated in 1984 was that combinatiuosn of microfranchises would be linked together to take over leadership of a whole national market place to be owned in trust for poorest and smalest entreprises - some brac examples are highlighted alongside 17 s-goals 


1 End poverty - atotal banking chain for poor- ultra-poor, microfinance plus, brac city bank, bkash, brac investment banking paertners

2 Zero hunger

rice crop science in parrershipwith china

leading vegetable arket- vitamins in addition to rice

leading poultry market

leading dairy (and dried milk) market 

3 Good health & wellbeing para-health workers - also last mile health scaling of specific solutions begun with microfranchise of oral rehydration

4 Quality education

from 40000 village informal primary to brac university to main contributor to bangladesh's elrearing platform; to Peer to Peer jobs hubs for adolescent girls 

5 Gender equality

6 Clean water and sanitation

7 Affordable land and clean energy

8 Decent work and economic growth

9 Industry innovation and infrastructore

10 Reduced inequalities

11 Sustainable cities and communiteis

12 Responsible consumption and production

13 Climate actuon

14 Life below water

15 Life on land

16 Peace and justice- strong institutions

barefoot lawyers; barefoot actors 

17 partnerships for the goals




Water and milk


Post-dig infrastructure




Safety, peace, youth

Local crafts

Aid- Develop people


Daily banking

Pre dig infrastructure

Bottom up integrated services


Land professionals



From disasrer relief (integrate logistics, resources, serve (health water food) repair to development triangle begun round edu , health and finance for jobs



1 professions aid (disaster relief- health-jobs-training bank value chain)

2 food sector ; milk sector

3 health segmenst 4 educaytio  5 girls



Partners in Development of communuity’s capacity – response to disaster, health, job creating training – investing in sustaining people and community’s livelihoods (valuechain redisgn)  -25 pre-digita network partnesr in vlage women gen 1.0; 20 post-digital paryners in youth gen 2.1


Solutions to action learn from BRAC as world’s number 1 partner in the race to end poverty and progress the 17 sustainability goals




                                            1 end poverty –how Bangladesh becamae the greatest partnership lab in uniting this most valuable of human races


What? – the most extreme poverty is rooted in babies being born into a place with next to no chance of healthy life or developing a decent livelihood. Q4 of the 20th C began with probability being about one in four of being so born


BRAC originated as a bottom-up response in a place (Bangladesh 1972) devastated by a cyclone and war of independence, with generations of illiteracy and rural conditions: no electricity, no running water, no telecommunications, and little access to transport systems other than a rickshaw and muddy pathways. Additionally BRAC was faced with the demographic challenge that much of rural Bangladesh treated women as an underclass.



Replicating low cost action learning solutions growing community’s self-sufficiency

Most efficient and effective model – Preferential Option Poor. Professionals lives and learns with the poorest, also diagnosing broken systems bringing in other relevant professionals to help end these; preferentially applying advances in technology to ending poverty; promoting faith/hope in the community that inter-generational progress is being made.


BRAC has applied networking models currently geared to being 90% self-sustainable. Founder Sir Fazle Abed says needing to find 10% new funds each year corresponds to wanting to continue to be youth’s most innovative agent in their world of human development.



Over its first 45 years, BRAC has led  practice cases of all of these models of being self-sustaining


-charity with positive cash flow

-business with a higher purpose

-redesigning a value chain to lead it, empower smallest/poorest to earn a good livelihood, make an overall profit from such market leadership invested back into BRAC

-being a governments outsourced social solution

-designing digital apps to go beyond missing infrastructure or beyond zero-sum trade (eg networking actionable learning can multiply value in use unlike the zero-sum scarcity models of consuming up things)

-open learning both as comprising a network of over 100000 bottom-up educators and publishing failures along the way of designing microfranchises that were tested to be effective and efficient before being exploded across the whole of the rural nation. From 2002 BRAC has selectively expanded its international  presence – typically choosing one primary funder per nation and clarifying what first system intervention the funder wants and how this matches both BRAC’s solution book and cultural permission to network in the country concerned  


Overall, these models have empowered the world’s poorest women to develop a new nation (Bangladesh born 1971, brac constituted 1972) –one of the ten most populous on earth from zero resources. In other words, BRAC can be valued as world’s number 1 partner in the Keynsian goal if economics- to design systems that end poverty and sustainably progress livelihoods of next generation


If markets of education and development were truly free in Adam Smith sense BRAC would be valued as world’s number 1 brand partner in leading and uniting the human race.


To learn with BRAC is to action replicable cases- we will see these linkin ending poverty across the whole 17 goal compass of celebrating exponential progress towards sustainability of humanity and planet.


2 end hunger


This goal is comprised of at least 4 overlapping challenges:

sufficient food to feed the world – here the miracle or rice crop sciences (spread from Japan, China to bangladesh; BRAC staff include 2 world class rice crop scientists. China’s 30 million deaths by starvation in 1962 caused the peoples to change communism


food security- ie enough local fresh food available remembering that much food is perishable within a few days


nutritional access especially first 1000 days of brain and bodily development[ rice is deficient in vitamins hence brac intervened in empowering local development of the vegetable sector -particularly carrots;  it can be argued that brac’s soul revolves round peer to peer action learning with healthy solutions being the deepest of foci


Climate (where it makes a place unlivable in) and other exponentials environmental consequences of a carbon polluted world


BRAC has redesigned many agricultural value chains so that the poorest rurals producers have a market, and can afford their family too!.


Rice needs to be complemented by veggies (improved % of live seeds)


Its a a leader of poultry (5 microfranchsie description total chain of superchicken)


and milks value chain purposes in Bangladesh-timing critical- powdered milk when eg surfeit gone


BRAC also networks barefoot lawyer concerned with land rights


3 healthy ,lives

the whole truth about health looks very different to bottom-up grassroots networks than top=down masters of administration. Search out how different  real economic segments can be:

infant care needed to save quarter of lives in developing countries can be mostly about maternal knowhow (eg oral rehydration and nutrition) and not expensive medicine; of course there are basic vaccinations and fever reducing pils that need local distribution (cf food security)

most maternal care is very economic provided you take advantage of this population being trackable from onset of pregnancy

get infant and maternal care right in a place where generations have previously suffered from literacy, no electricity and no telecommunications and you change the role of women –brac has helped reduce number of children born to rural women by three-fold  because increasing the life expectancy of both mothers and children has a positive feedback loop


adolescent healthcare which actually starts at 7 has been  misconceived in ways that have hugely costly consequences on society and youth’s  hope and sense of self- again there is so much that education and community support can sustain (brac’s international clubs for poor teenage girls have intuitively tapped into missing health service of adolescents- 2016 has seen the lancet breakthrough on the value of adolescent health programs and this age’s critical consequences on how the brain develops


the most economic last mile staff in fighting infectious diseases are often those who have had and survived the disease- brac has helped lead this in its programs combating tuberculosis


brac by being the world’s first partner in such low cost solution franchises not only built a rural healthcare system out of nothing but is the number 1 benchmark in community working health that any developing country’s youth can value

4 Quality Education – BRAC is famous for scaling education systems – especially those that value girls’ futures as history’s greatest under-utilised  human resource both economically and socially. It is the largest secular and private education system in the world, reaching seven countries. Inside Bangladesh its particularly famous for its informal primary school system; internationally it has scaled adolescent girls clubs focused both on learning a skill for a living and peer to peer support on health and empowerment issues.



In fact, BRAC’s servant leadership and action learning culture was inspired from the start by the 1968 publication of  Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (education’s main text in the Preferential Option Poor ) genre –currently celebreated by such diverse commenttors on the human condition as Jim Kim, Paul Farmer and Pope Francis .


To some extent BRAC’s 100000+ staff are all educators. In celebrating the Back from the Future of 21st C Yoyth’s Open Learning economy,  BRAC s grassroots and femininely graceful service networks multiply value way beyond zero-sum . This is because unlike businesses designed around consuming up things, sustainability and actionable knowhow multiplies value in use.


Notably the first time the world noted BRAC’s capability to scale across rural Bangladesh was the oral rehydration program. By training village mothers to know how to administer boiled water, sugar and salt to end infant diarrhea, BRAC saved one in four infants from death; empowered women to be valued by the historically male culture; reduced the average family size a mother was expected to bear from around ten in 1972 to four and now to … increased the health if village mothers so that they had time to income generate. Many of brac’s microfinance loans can be analysed through community-deep impact metrics: to be the lowest cost student loans for village mothers to train up for an income generating living. This involved operating a microfranchise which brac has designed so that rural value chains are transparently and joyfully supplied by the poorest. Take BRAC’s leadership of the whole poultry value chain in Bangladesh. There are 5 microfranchises only one of which is owing a flock of village hens for egg production. There is breeding a special kind of hen that’s prolific in egg laying; vet services for these hard working hen’s retailing eggs beyond the village; growing animal feed on land that could not support human crop. That’s over a quarter of a million jobs; all with good earning potential for hard working village mother.


Note because BRAC takes in responsibility for leading the value chain, village mother microentrepreneurs are  extremely hard working and focused operators of a community sustaining franchise but do not need to be risk takers in the sense that 3rd grade social studies in USA requires children to associate with the definition of entrepreneurship. (see footnote on the who and the why of the word entrepreneur being cloined around 1800 by JB Say-   the French alumn of Adam Smith)


Leading a whole market sector profitably (eg poultry, dairy, crafts …) also enables brac to invest in parts of the education system which cannot be self-financing. One example is secondary education scholarships directed towards those girls BRAC has talent spotted as leaders of the future from their dedication at primary. In this way daughters of illiterate village mothers are transformed into society’s health and other professionals. Now that has second or third genereation alumni, the opportunity to contribute to Bangaldesh’s future leaders is integral to BRAC’s purpose as end poverty world’s leading brand archotectire. Note that the bangaldesh being 20 years into experimenting with mobile village partnerships, BRAC University (started 1999) is in the middle of national hackathons and linked in to coders who are leading elearning and e-everything


Some memorable conversation ,lines from interviews with Sir Fazle Abed- after discussing the emnergence of MOOC, Sir Fazle said sounds primoing but why isn’t C for Collaboration


In explaining why BRAC University: I was reading what types of organsiations had survived mant centoiruies and alost the only ones were universities.


On sharing educational innovation with government run schools, we see the university as an opportunity top run special courses for [public servants including some of the most greatest teachers of the future whichever schooling system in Bagladesh they are employed by.


On the need for sustainability goals annual sumits to be called microeducationsummit – yes education can invoite every type of development professionl to join in. We could celebrate the opposite of how microfinacesummit implied you had to be a wizard in finace to innovate the futures youth most needed to celebrate uniting the human race around


BRAC research has also brought a spirit of open learning to the aid and philanthropy sectotr which have often been reticent to accept that enetreprenejurship in dev elopement depends on being smart and open to  trial and error as much as any other entrepreneurial pursuit.




 Actually if you go back to the French origin of entrepreneur around 1800 the core meaning of the e-word relates to connecting bottom-up social movements in a (hopefully more peaceful way than the guillotine)  to advances the intergenerational human progress of a nation with more joy than 1% of kings owning 99% of productivity assets. The first few words of 1776 USA’s declaration of independence refer to the freedom and happiness of a place where everyone has an equitable chance (a right) to sustain families through plentiful local opportunities to income generate



For those who simply love brac as the most exciting organisation to visit let alone to work for, a hugely joyful time was when  WISE launched annual education laureate summit with Sir Fazle Abed as their inaugural education laureate. A special feature of WISE to commission a research rep[ort on the prize winner’s wish – in sir fazle’s case Learning for a Living. The UK innovation unit was one of the research teams commissioned to edit this topic into a wise conference report. We were particularly moved by one of the sub-reports framing of the BRAC case study


reporter sarah gillinsonn I’ve been struggling for the past couple of days to start a blog about my experiences in Bangladesh – not because there is nothing to write, but because I couldn’t imagine how I would pick one story. So I’m throwing focus out the window because in fact, it is the breadth and ambition of BRAC’s work that is breathtaking and changing millions of lives. BRAC is the world’s largest NGO, founded in Bangladesh, and with 60,000 employees there alone (they are increasingly working internationally too). Their ambition is no less than to alleviate poverty in their country, and to empower all Bangladeshi citizens to build a better, more prosperous future together.

Needless to say, this mission cannot be served with one type of programme, or a single client group. BRAC’s major insight is that for all Bangladeshi citizens – especially the poorest – to pull themselves out of economic, social and political poverty, the support they are offered must address all elements of the personal context and collective history that are holding them back

So I have met women in an urban slum who are being supported to build small businesses and improve their lives. They receive microfinance loans to kick start enterprises selling saris, cakes, fish and tea. But that is not enough to sustain a better life. BRAC also offers them training to manage their money and their accounts, to sign their own name and to get an identity card to protect their assets. They learn about basic health and hygiene so they can keep their businesses running, and their children safe.

Saira grew up in a rural village and moved to the city when she could no longer generate any income to support her family. On moving to the city, she struggled to find work and ended up brick-breaking like many others – hard, unreliable, physical work. She and her children had no more than one meal a day. Following support and a small loan from BRAC Bank, she now runs a cake business that makes enough money to send her youngest daughters to school and to feed the whole family three times a day. Perhaps most importantly, BRAC has helped her to learn about her rights. This has had a major impact. Saira’s husband abandoned her eight years ago, with six daughters to support. When he heard about her flourishing business, he tried to come back to share in her success. And she would not take him back – unheard of in traditional communities.

I have also met young children at a BRAC primary school, desperate to show me the interactive games they use to learn Bengali, English and other subjects. They clamoured to tell me of their ambitions to be doctors, teachers, engineers and even a pilot – despite being too poor even to afford to go to a government school. They too learn a broader, rights-based curriculum that imbues them with far greater control over their own lives, and belief that they can achieve anything. The same is true of the teenagers in an ‘adolescents’ group’ just outside Dhaka, the women in a ‘social capital’ group in a rural village, and the volunteer teachers even further off the beaten track.

BRAC is not an education organization. It is not a micro finance organization and it is not a training organization even though it does all those things. It is a citizen-building organization. It is helping to build a new set of values, skills, aspirations and determination in millions of people by providing them with a platform to do more and better for themselves. I haven’t even mentioned one hundredth of what they do. But Saira’s final reflection on the impact of working with BRAC sums up what I heard over and over again. ‘Now, I am tension free’.








First wise laureate


BRAC becamse famlous for being a network that could scale across the whole rural peoples of bangaldesh when oral rehydartion


Literacy education was a service from beginning of BRAC’s evolution from disater relief to development. By the 1980s Brac’s main system was informa primart based on village ontesorri schooling but with additional best practices from where sir fazle abed searched thme out. Primary schooling is one of the few foci of brac which needs continuos funding.




brac is a newtirk of over hundred thousand jibs eduicators s well as amy peer to peer service networks – it started freire-style education for illiterate aduls sonn moving down age to informal priary schooling- many of early adults ytrained can be exp[ecetd to have become the teachers in the village school model that has adopted best practices from around the wporld but always in freire action learinh stsyle and so often neighboring the schooling system developed by monetessori and Gandhi


Brac was fiors wise lautreate whioch started years research on learning fro a living


Brac atsrtated computers assiseted elarnin 2007 check; making it the most qualified national supllire now that banagldesh has a nationwide elearninhg polatfoprm; where secondary gaps were nof fundable in bangaldesh brac has devekoed toise as girls adiolesecent jobs clubs one of its singar=ture interenational programs – from circa 1999 brac forned it won university- integral to this is a village project every stidnet is ex[pecetd to innovate; some of the programs at brac unibvefrsoity already attact workd calks interbatioan l faculty – see eg the kjames grant school of public health named in jonorof brac’s friends head of USAID and co-champion of massive reploication of oral rehydration


A look throughb brac’s worldwide partnership list reveals how many education partners its has earned

Gender equality – valuig (disadvantaged)girls futures is number 1 is brac’s ovcerall metric in line with keynsians and adam sith sustem design; girls clubs across muslim countries its most popular interenational service



###gender equality -goal 5

A case can be made for poorest vilage mothers having done most to develop the global vilage nation of Bangladesh. And BRAC as the epicentre of women4empowerment and now onward through tits largest international focus providing teenage girls with clubs that develop their confidence and permit them to build skills to run a sall business. Life expextancy figures during BRAC's first 45 years have shot up with women's health making the greatest demographic advance. The system innovations needed to chnage the dominant male rural culture that the nation was born with in 1971 show brac's relenetless determination and creativity. Oral rehydration - its first program to scale rural Bangladesh - celebrated mothers life saving attention to infannts breaking a predominanat male perception that women had limited skillsets

6 Clean water and sanitation

Vilages do not have running water systems often being one of the major ways bangaldeshis and particularly girls were locked into p[overty. From ear;y days one of the sanitation solutions both brac and grameen has skiled its members capacity to develop for sanitary [propgress is the pit latrine- 

With paul polak bangaldesh was the 1970s lab where treadle pumps for abgrucultural use were designed; Bangladesh hasn’t been the easiest country to develop water soilutions to due to high levels of arsenic in many regions; today the BRAC’s integrated WASH program offers a “curriculum” on 45 years of progress that Bangladesh has made towards this goal.


Ironically in a country where access to drinhimg water is often a laborious challlnge, the country’s lowlands are projected to be mpst at risktp climate change

7 Affordable and clean energy mopdels have been led out of bangaldesh since the mnation become the first to value mobile phones for the poor. 1996 saw Muhhamd Yunus originate the grameen telephone model, what has become known in micro-systems as the siolar-a-buillion mpdels and biogas ovens. Yunus adapted the solar kowedlege from neville wiallism (see hi self network and his origin as caryer’s champion ogf solar energy!) but hos own grameen banks structure of offere one village lady per cenjtre of 60 the opportunity to be a telephone lady. For several years this was the most profitablke microfranchsie village mothers had ever seen. But within a decde mobile telephonlhy becamse the leapfrong benchmark for digitan conclusion. To complete the ned of kerosene as a cooking utility, biogas ovens are replicating fast. The microsilar maket hjas become very competitive and without a diferential advaatge that brac clould serve. So brac has largey exited the sol;ar market secure that it is already well supplied to its hostirical clients.

Decent work and Economic growth

Analysts reveal that while Bangladesh has sustained high levels of growth in frecent years it is build up from the village economy and also as gtransfers from the disaporaea economy- see the variety of models brac has built in section 1

Land rights have often be an issue for cilagers- one reason why brac empolos almost 40000 barefoot lawyers. BRAC’s goal of resesigning value chains is to provide decent livelihhods from the very bottom of the production pyramid . These days BRAC is ocncerened aboyt the livelighhods of young girls as well as rheir mothers. These girls are a major reason for bangladesh;’s gatrment succes’ but sine the factory collapse also a major issue BRAC ;politely challenges the whole fashion sectir to transform responsibility around. In effectr this is a challenge that sin-banglades relations are needed ; so that responsibility come to both side of the border regarding afforb=dable

Industry innovation and infrastructure


Botom up infrasytructire and industry innovation is almost always aligned with sustainability.


Given that half the wor;ld’s youth live o 1% of the p;lanet within 3000 miles of beijong – responsible sino-bangaldesh partnetrships  are probably the only joyful way back to beig alive to see sustainability’s race


BTRAc has been a world leader ion designing last mile service francise and the ir supporting infrastructures. Paul Polak who has also spent most of his last 45 years innovating out of bangaldesh now prioritioese designs for 20 bottiom up multinationals

Reduced inequalities

BRAC has led the world in reducing inequalities of women while also mediating this respectfully in the cukture of Bangaldesh. It has done this by demonsytarting fro example hiowmothers can be the best savers iof infants lives through practical knowledge such as oral rehydration.


Glibally and locally this goal seems to be a platform for millennial discussion of what are the future goals of laws, reguklatirs and public servants. In an increasingly bordrless worldf how does ouyr soecies codify a minimum set of international rulkes of peacefuk huan behavior whilke celebrating cukturla diversity.

 Brac’s bottom up sgtructure can provide informed evidence especially with its thens ofb thojusands of bottom-uop rights advisers. Its university is offers a spoace for ytraining opublic servants of the future. The grassroots netwoerk model practiced by BRAC calls for living at the bottom of society. This cultivates local respect in ways that foreign ngos entering a nation with top-doen relationships cannot wholly reach. 

Sustainable cities and communities

Alumni of brac voilage mothers are now often cities and community grestest social netowrjkers- the financial service for brac citizens is brac bank

Responsible consumption and production

BY maximizing local consumoption and production in in=ts value chain design, markets BRAC lead tend to naturally lead this goal.

C;imate action

Many analysts say that Bangaldesh will be the biggest firstloser of displaced populations if temperatires rise any more. Hence BRAC is conscious of this issue in its every dayt practices. Moreover having originated as the bottom up ngo that gtransitioned disater relief to development it knows about being as effectice in disaater relief as humanly possible


Moreover Bangladesh peoples live on the 1% of the planet that is home to half of bteh world’s population –study 3000 miles from Beijing to understand how peoples in these region need tomaximise colabirations on enviriomental markets and indeed all knowledge-led markets designed around way above zero-sum models of trade thanks to the way that actionable knowhow multiplies value in unse unlike the scarcity crises caused by racking to consume up things

Life below water

Bangladesh includes its faoir share of island communities with their need to sustain fish and related markets.

Life on land

Bangladsh forms one of the osyt diverse agricultural laboratories in the world. Very few of the wests mass-standardisation forms of agriculture have any viability in Bangladesh. The whole region could benefit from a suoperport enginnered on bangaldesh’s coast biut this would need to be run to the benefit of all comnectying natioosn as well as respect the development pathways for all the Banglasdeshi communities in or adjacent to the designated space.


Peace and justoce

Partberships for the goals- BRAC offers a way to correct the lack of youth’s participation in milllennoium goals 2000-2015. We needed a traingularuisatioon valuing youth and not jyst partnershipnof public and private. BRAC ultimaltely is designed around develoopng the future opportunities of goirls. This is a perfect counter to macroeconomic models in which the 3 constituencies – por, youth and female have been negatively valued over time.


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Alibaba founder Jack Ma unveils ambitious plan

Mission: 100 million new jobs

By Dana McCauley

He already runs the world's biggest online shopping company, but Alibaba founder Jack Ma is not satisfied.

The Chinese billionaire has unveiled an even more ambitious plan to expand the company's reach across the globe, creating 100 million new jobs and transforming the global economy to create a more equitable world.

It may sound pie-in-the-sky, but the goal forms part of mission statement of the US$261 billion company's visionary executive chairman.

In a letter to shareholders, Ma outlined Alibaba's achievements of the past financial year - including a gross merchandise turnover of more than $195 billion (1 trillion RMB), an "unprecedented" figure - before looking to the future.

"We have more than 430 million annual active buyers, which means one out of every three individuals in China has made a purchase on our retail marketplaces," Ma wrote.

But, he said, while proud of Alibaba's online shopping achievements, "we want to do far more", saying that the benefits of globalisation had not been spread evenly, but that "digital disruption will bring us closer to a level playing field for young people and small businesses".

"We are not merely trying to shift buy/sell transactions from offline to online, nor are we changing conventional digital marketing models to squeeze out a little additional profit," he wrote.

"We are working to create the fundamental digital and physical infrastructure for the future of commerce, which includes marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing, big data and a host of other fields."

The Alibaba group of companies, founded in 1999, accounts for 60 per cent of all Chinese online sales, and this year overtook Walmart as the world's largest retailer.


It has made Ma the second richest man in Asia, with a net worth of US$28.5 billion.


It's through cloud computing that Alibaba aims to expand its reach, and the company has been investing in the technology as part of a strategy that sees shoppers' data as the contemporary equivalent of mineral riches.

"Over the next 30 years, with computing power as the new 'technology breakthrough' and data as the new 'natural resource,' the landscape of retail, financial services, manufacturing and entertainment will be transformed," Ma wrote, forecasting a decades-long period of transformation.

"The internet revolution is a historical inflection point, much like when electricity was introduced, and it may have an even greater impact," he predicted.

Alibaba's mission, he said, was to "empower merchants with the ability to transform and upgrade their businesses for the future" and "help companies all over the world to grow".

"We believe, the commerce infrastructure we have created in China - marketplaces, payments, logistics, cloud computing and big data, all working in concert - can be applied on a global scale to lift up small and medium businesses and ordinary consumers around the world."

Eight years after launching, Alibaba Cloud hosts 35 per cent of Chinese websites, while delivering cloud computing and big data services.


Ma said Alibaba was constantly adapting to the changing e-commerce environment, as staying at the forefront of innovation was key to its continued success.

"In the coming years, we anticipate the birth of a re-imagined retail industry driven by the integration of online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain," he said.

"With e-commerce itself rapidly becoming a "traditional business," pure e-commerce players will soon face tremendous challenges."

A shift to mobile revenue was one such change, he said, with mobile climbing from a single-digit percentage to three-years of total revenue from Alibaba's Chinese retail marketplaces, in the space of two years.

"This is why we are adapting, and it's why we strive to play a major role in the advancement of this new economic environment," Ma said.

Innovations like Alibaba's Qianniu app, which helps online businesses to improve sales and marketing while enhancing efficiency, were an example of the type of projects the company aimed to focus on.

"In 20 years, we hope to serve two billion consumers around the world, empower 10 million profitable businesses and create 100 million jobs," Ma said, adding: "This will be an even more difficult journey than the one behind us."

LISTEN : Newstalk ZB Political Editor Barry Soper speaks to Andrew Dickens on KPMG Early Edition

Mr Ma - who's worth around $50 billion - met with John Key in Beijing late yesterday. He made his money through founding the online commerce platform Ali Baba.

Standing alongside the Prime Minister, he heaped praise on the country, which he says is loved by many Chinese.

"At least 20 of my colleagues retired from Ali Baba. They're all very young, in their 40s, they all go to New Zealand."

"I asked what they do apart from the golf and green things and they say it's the people there."

It wasn't all social, with the Chinese billionaire also talking business.

Jack Ma told the entrepreneurs luncheon Kiwi businesspeople find it difficult to access the Chinese market.

Mr Ma said he wants to make that easier with his multi-platform organisation.

"We have Ali Baba University. We would either have courses in New Zealand or invite the entrepreneurs in New Zealand to stay in China for two weeks for training."

"The second is that we're going to open an Ali Baba business embassy next year in New Zealand."

John Key is in China meeting business and political leaders.



Innovation "Made in China" - The Case of Alibaba and the role of Net-based Small Business

Innovation is a key driver for economic development and social progress and small business is one of the best ways for people to express their willingness and capability to innovate.  Pervasive business ownership has, therefore, been the foundation in many societies for the continued improvement of people’s economic wellbeing. In the People’ Republic of China, however, private business ownership was prohibited between 1957 and 1978. Productive innovations were extremely restricted and as a consequence, China’s economy was on the verge of collapse by the end of 1978. The Chinese people had suffered a historic setback.

Alibaba’s growth, driven by unleashing grassroots entrepreneurship, has become an exemplar of China’s innovation in the 21st century.  Started by 18 young people in 1999, Alibaba has grown into a giant global internet platform and has made many invaluable contributions to China’s progress. Highlighting the importance of pervasive small business ownership in unleashing grassroots innovation and improving economic wellbeing, Professor Lowrey will discuss Alibaba’s innovative strategies and explain the economic theory behind its inspiring success.




Dr. Ying Lowrey is Professor of Economics at Tsinghua University and Deputy Director of the Tsinghua Research Center for Chinese Entrepreneurs, and a member of the Academic Committee for Alibaba Group Research Institute. Her teaching and research interests include economics of innovation and entrepreneurship in the internet and platform economy, the modern microfinance market, business demographics, characteristics of business owners, and the role of free enterprise and competition in the macroeconomy. 

She received her economics Ph.D. from Duke University, economics MA from Yale University and mathematics BS from Wuhan University. Before joining Tsinghua University in 2012, she served as senior economist at the Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration and has taught economics at George Washington University and San Diego State University.


Selected publications 




Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepren…chris macraeNov 23, 200950 views

Founder of Ali Baba commits his work for Chinese on internet to generate 100 million microentrepreneur jobs in 2010s - who else would you vote at the centre of 100 million job creation leagues?
=====================update sumer 2016:
unlike oiher years spent with bangaldeshi inspired youth, i spent 2015-2016 mainly with a class of chinese female students - what brilliant minds and tirelss sources of human energy - i hope this summary of why the whole world can celebrate what jack ma is doing is near to the mark - but as always look forward to editing any errors which are mine alone washington dc text 240 316 8157
was english language tutoring

In 1995 he was sent to the usa on an exchange mission and encountered the worldwideweb - then unknown in China. He determined the www would be the biggest job creating innovation of his (or his generations) life and hopefully of every Chinese entrepreneur he could valuably link into.

Over the next 15 years his wizard coding teams went from something that was little more than an electronic yellow pages for small businesses to conceiving sustainability generation's 2 greatest retailing platforms china or the world may ever have seen..

the taobao platform is the most valuable job creating concept retailers have ever mediated because it reverses the western trend of globalisiation of retailers, bankers and big corporations squeezing out local and small enterprises from having a market; how taobao did that is an extraordinarily detailed story but note how Ma was concerned to ensure even the most cut-off of Chinese villagers could start up on tao bao (rural ecommerce is one of the innovations that Ma has led the www purpose to linkin)

His other mall was pitched at the more usual high cost fashions of big global merchandisers. Because of complex property laws in chinese cities, most expensive retailers are not much of a joy to shop in. So ali baba created a lifestyle -eg celebrate singles day 11/11 shopping virtually rather than the physically exhausting interaction in The West's biggest shopping days of the year)

SO 365/24/7 consumers of ali baba can choose who they value developing most with their purchasing power as well as searching merchandise with global image or local cultural joy

Alibaba has become china's and probably the word's largest retailing channel. It does this with next to no merchandise but brilliant coding so that every store front on its platforms delivers with equal reliability. Hunting out exactly how Ma forms partnerships so that big data analysis benefits the smallest enterprises and most local consumers ought to be a job of whomever is sustainability goals greatest economist.

Intriguingly to ensure he could compete with the chinese internet companies that raced to co-create the www that Ma had opened space for in china, Ma IPO'd Alibaba through a process 2010-2015 while developing his secret sustainability weapon under private ownership. AlIpay is china's number 1 financial inclusion delivery system and maybe global youth most humanly productive coding achievement to date.

Comparing china's top 10 internet properties with the west's is very interesting. Are the consuming behaviours on ali baba more sustainable than those on amazon or ebay or paypal? Are the learnng behaviours on baidu more sustaining of youth than on google or coursera or microsoft's linkedin. Time will tell but note how speaking english, chinese and coding (as well as mother tongue) are probably what educators anywhere on planet earth should NOW be most valuing their global youth's future freedom to thrive entrepreneurially around.

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