Publication Date

Spring 4-20-2017


School of Business


Business: Economics


Economic Development, Poverty Alleviation, Non-Profit Organization, Entrepreneurship


Agribusiness | Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Business and Corporate Communications | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations


The aim of this paper is to analyze the role that nonprofit organizations can play in utilizing economic development to alleviate poverty. The thesis components will be analyzed by answering six research questions (RQ): (1) What is economic development in developing countries? (2) What is the connection between economic development and poverty alleviation? (3) What are some examples of economic development lessening poverty? (4) What are the essential features of a nonprofit organization? (5) What can nonprofit organizations do to create economic development? and finally, (6) What are archetypical examples of nonprofits creating economic development and reducing poverty? To understand economic development, this paper will show that many tools are necessary, including: trade, entrepreneurship, education, and political stability – to name a few. Secondly, it will be explained how these tools can be used not only for growth but even to better the living conditions of every participant in an economy. A few examples of each will be provided. Next, the essential features of a nonprofit organization will be provided. With this comprehensive understanding, the primary objective can be more fully appreciated. The thesis looks at how two of the major tools of economic development – trade and entrepreneurship – can be applied by nonprofit organizations (NPOs) to provide opportunities for the low-income individuals to better their own circumstances. Finally, specific NPOs will be provided that are carrying this vision out in their operations. Throughout this thesis, it will be seen how nonprofits can utilize economic development to alleviate poverty.