Words by Tess Becker
Most struggles across the globe center on one thing: money. People fight over it, people rely on it for their needs and many people around the world lack it, meaning that they miss out on food, shelter, medicine, and much more. This type of existence can lead to the radicalization of people just looking for options to survive – something Peace Through Prosperity hopes to address.
Peace Through Prosperity is a not-for-profit organization that enables people from marginalized communities in Pakistan, Yemen, and Egypt to work their way out of poverty. It was founded by Kubair Shirazee following the death of his brother at the hands of extremists in Karachi.
That tragedy reframed Kubair’s life, and he decided to make a difference in the world. He sold his business and used his professional expertise and experience to create a new startup based on a collaborative project management approach called agile methodology. Through success in that field, he was able to start and fund Peace Through Prosperity.
“We consider ourselves an innovation lab that looks at big transformational societal issues. Then we design experiments around these issues and validate our hypotheses,” Kubair tells Smiley News. “If we have an experiment that works, we open our source it and we say, ‘Hello World, here’s an experiment we ran, it works and this is our gift to you. Take it and use it in your own communities.’”
True to their word, they have a tab on their website labeled ‘Steal Our Stuff.’ The entire goal of Peace Through Prosperity is to get helpful information as far and wide as possible. They only have two rules: don’t sell their findings because it’s meant to be free and helpful; and send any new data you might discover back their way.
These experiments come in many forms. The most successful is a mini-Master of Business Administration (MBA), a crash course in MBA principals.
“You could say at one level we try and inject what’s human into transactional relationships,” Kubair says.
The idea is that many people are already struggling within the same community, so a small smile can go a long way.
They distribute free advice to help people run better businesses. They aim for that knowledge to then spread throughout the community.
“We enable them to get to a place where they can address their limiting beliefs,” Kubair says. “And then they can say, ‘You know what, the change I want to see in my world is all down to me because it’s my world.’ And those are the things we try and tell them – that in your world there’s only one superhero and that is you, because this is your world.”
Peace Through Prosperity’s impact expands well beyond business successes, as thriving local economies help uplift entire communities. Since their founding in 2011, they’ve helped 3,000 people directly, 18,000 indirectly, and created around 300 jobs.
“We want those people, the vulnerable people, to not be vulnerable,” Kubair says. “We want them to have the ability to create their own narrative of change.”
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
A Tribe Called Queer. This is a non-profit that helps support the queer community with workshops, events, and low cost clothing. Find out more and support them here.
Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.
American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.