The United Nations Human Settlement Program recently released the 2016 World Cities Report, citing that 80% of the world’s 29 megacities are in developing markets.
Pause and consider that. Twenty-three of the biggest cities in the world, with more than 11 million residents, are located in developing countries throughout Africa, South America and Asia. By any measure, these markets present a huge opportunity for commerce and value creation/capture.
At the same time, several additional trends are emerging in developing countries, among them: accelerating adoption of modern technologies and the rise of small businesses (the engine of growth). And with the stalling of new opportunities in already-developed countries, what this means is we, as conscientious capitalists across the world, are well-positioned to turn our attention to developing countries and leverage our joint expertise for creating and capturing value to bear in these emerging markets.
As you can imagine, myriad problems arise when cities that lack infrastructure grow at the pace these markets are growing.
The UN shares 8 such problems:
- Urban Growth
- Change in family patterns
- Increased residency in slums and informal settlements
- Challenges in providing urban services
- Climate change
- Exclusion and rising inequality
- Upsurge in international migration
Over the course of three articles, we’ll review the issues and propose business ideas and potential solutions to these challenges. Join us as we explore how, despite our differences and barriers, we are a unified world.