Technology Start-Ups can Successfully spark digital growth in the Developing World

 Internet technology in emerging markets has received far less attention but has major implications for economic growth and social progress. We recently studied the impact of the Internet on what we call “aspiring countries,” defined as having the economic size and dynamism to be significant players on the global stage in the near future and achieve levels of prosperity approaching those of the advanced economies.

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“Internet entrepreneurs in aspiring countries are often also social entrepreneurs, in that they create the ecosystem that allows individuals, enterprises, and governments to play a bigger role in the Internet economy.”

According to Voices , Internet entrepreneurs in aspiring countries are often also social entrepreneurs, in that they create the ecosystem that allows individuals, enterprises, and governments to play a bigger role in the Internet economy. Increases in Internet use and infrastructure improvements have allowed entrepreneurs in aspiring countries to create new business models.

From successful adaptations of popular Web applications from developed countries to e-commerce and public-policy platforms, entrepreneurs have brought new services, expanded products, and deeper content within reach of users in aspiring countries.

With about 150,000 Internet-related businesses started each year in aspiring countries, entrepreneurs have driven much of the growth of the Internet ecosystems.

They are building the foundations that consumers and enterprises can then take advantage of. The Internet in aspiring countries also contributes to job creation. In the small- and medium-enterprise sector, survey respondents report that 3.2 jobs are created per 1 job lost because of the Internet.

With the growth of the Internet anywhere—whether in the developed or developing world—comes greater threats and possibilities for misuse. There are large and growing concerns regarding piracy, cybercrime, cyberterrorism, and privacy. These are real concerns that require concerted and coordinated action. However, we believe that the power of the Internet to propel growth and prosperity far outweighs the risks, and so these concerns should not be an excuse to limit the growth and use of the Internet.

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