Of Megacities and Developing Countries: Challenges in Providing Urban Services

As part of our series in response to the UN’s 2016 World Cities Report, we’re exploring the opportunities and challenges presented by the rapid growth of developing countries.

In our previous posts, we thought about the need for affordable, economic housing and accessible care services in developing megacities. For the our third post in the series, we’re considering how rapid urban growth has presented a challenge to the availability of urban services.

Similar to the infrastructure requirements previously highlighted, these cities and their governments will be under increased pressure to provide residents with improved urban services. But as mentioned before, weak and unwilling civic bodies may not be able to meet that need at the pace of growth. This is where entrepreneurship and the private sector can fill a critical role, particularly toward job creation.

As more entrepreneurs step up to provide urban services like economic housing, on-demand transportation and accessible, high quality childcare, they’ll need reliable, professional services themselves, such as accounting and IT support to better manage their businesses, or credit facilities, something our portfolio company Umati Capital, provides.

Successful entrepreneurs not only fulfill consumer needs, they create more opportunities for other enterprises and small businesses and spur greater job creation for residents, all while relieving the burden on local governments. Valet services may seem like a luxury good, but they’re another mechanism for economic development. They provide the fuel that will improve the quality of life in developing megacities for all people.

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