Despite billions being spent trying to relieve poverty in the developing world over several decades, the results have been mixed at best. It is very hard to identify any country that has escaped poverty primarily through aid. By contrast, many countries have transitioned themselves towards significant, widespread economic prosperity through free enterprise, a moral culture, and the institutions that facilitate wealth-creation.
On December 1, 2011, the Acton Institute held a day-long conference – From Aid to Enterprise: Economic Liberty and Solutions to Poverty – in London to explore the nature of free enterprise solutions to poverty, their underlying moral and institutional prerequisites, and stories of success and failure.
Bringing together scholars, policy-makers, clergy, and business leaders, this conference addressed questions such as the limits and unintended consequences of aid, the role played by religious organizations in promoting or impeding economic development in developing countries, the emergence of cultures and institutions that facilitate economic growth, and the place of business in poverty-alleviation. This conference was the last in the seven-part series Poverty, Entrepreneurship, and Integral Development.