Educating, empowering and helping people get what they need most in life is at the heart of successful philanthropy. It is no coincidence that fulfilling peoples’ needs is also the foundation of a successful business.
Any venture, whether it is commercial or philanthropic, should aim at improving the lives of as many people as possible. Both should use technological tools to build scale. And both must be self-sustaining to be considered truly successful.
I am convinced that only by applying the values of an entrepreneur to philanthropy will you ever be able to meet the needs of the greatest number of people.
I understand human financial needs. I grew up in Beirut – the “Paris of the Middle East” – where people totally understand the value of money but where philanthropy and giving back to society is nowhere to be found.
No matter how much my father and uncle – both traders, entrepreneurs and financiers – gave to thousands of families back home, people took it for granted and never learned anything in the process…My lesson learned? Be generous but never depend on the generosity of others.