--by Adam-Paul, Co-Founder of SECURE Tool
Smolak Industries primarily invests in world-changing private companies. However, we also have a distinguished track record of working with governments at all levels (city, state, federal) to develop economic initiatives to revitalize economies and bring investment and economic opportunities for businesses and citizens.
The reason I continue offering services to governments, instead of focusing exclusively on private investment, is because of two thought-shaping events:
- While a student at Union College, I attended a speech by Jesse Jackson where he argued that to create lasting economic equality in America, we must "bring up the bottom" socio-economic communities, from Mississippi to the Appalachians. I've published about this event in the Nieman Reports (https://niemanreports.org/articles/why-i-asked-jesse-jackson-about-the-media/).
- While living and working in China, I was selected by Jackson State University's Dr. Ronald Mason Jr. to lead an initiative that, as he explained it, would allow America's underfunded HBCU's to "leapfrog" their counterparts and give students the skills and knowledge to establish commercial platforms which they could leverage to bring economic opportunities to their communities.
Instead of exclusively investing in companies and products that will fundamentally reshape the world we live in, my passion is using my entrepreneurial experience to heal underprivileged communities and "bring them up" by helping to establish economic platforms that allow their citizens to "leapfrog" over their competitors.
So, a year ago when Smolak Industries was approached by the Haitian Government to develop economic initiatives similar to what we'd done for China, Mexico, Mississippi, Washington DC, and others, the entire team was excited about the opportunity to "bring up" the most socio-economically disadvantaged country in the Western Hemisphere.
We immediately delved into Haiti's history, culture, and competitive advantages. The more we learned, the more excited I became.
What we discovered is a country with a rich history of human rights advocacy (eg, the first country in the world to ban slavery and legally eliminate racial differences, cast a key vote in the creation of the Israeli state, etc.) where the average citizen speaks 4 languages, is highly driven and resourceful, and lives on $2/day.
Most of the islands economic challenges can be traced to the grossly underdeveloped infrastructure:
- Businesses and homes must operate on diesel generators 20 hours a day because the grid can't supply the island's power needs.
- There are no facilities for the production of basic necessities like food and water, despite the abundance of natural resources.
- There is no robust supply chain infrastructure or businesses, despite thousands of miles of coastline and proximity to economic powerhouses like the USA, Mexico, and Brazil.
- There's no robust manufacturing sector, a lack of service-based businesses, and few other job opportunities (eg, software development), despite the low cost of labor and linguistic abilities of the Haitian people.
Despite these challenges, it was clear to the entire team that with the indomitable will of the people to overcome, Haiti has the character, history, strategic positioning to overcome its current challenges. The keys to success are:
- Transforming Haiti into a connection point between the North- and South-Western hemisphere by utilizing their proximity to the region's key economic players.
- Establishing a new identity for Haiti, where Haitians are highly-desired global professionals in a variety of industries, instead of "have-nots" that continually need humanitarian aid.
It's easier said than done, but the tools currently exist to bring about the complete revitalization and rebirth of Haiti as a modern, technologically forward, innovative country. Using Blockchain Technology, 3D Printing, Sustainable Energy and Water Generators, we believe we can quickly deploy the infrastructure required to start unlocking the value that's currently trapped in Haiti and "bring up the bottom."
The tragic earthquake on 8/14/21 makes a bad situation worse.
But mark my words, with the unwavering commitment of the Smolak Industries' team, and the strength and resolve of the Haitian people, Haiti will rise up from the bottom, leapfrog its neighbors and set the precedent for a new, technology-driven economic model for all countries to follow.