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Swedish family business

March 31, 2016

Percy Barnevik made his name heading up one of the largest family-controlled businesses in Europe, but in his retirement it is microenterprises where he has focused his attention. Jessica Tasman-Jones caught up with the former executive to find out how his foundation, Hand in Hand International, is addressing poverty one job at a time

The solution to a great deal of the world’s problems is jobs, argues Percy Barnevik. “In Egypt 75% of the students don’t get a job. The young men sit in the cafés in Cairo, unhappy, angry, they can’t support themselves, let alone a small family.” This breeds anger and they become prey for the Muslim Brotherhood and all types of violent organisations, says the former business executive. “The problem is not Islam, not the Bible, the problem is not religion. The problem is poverty and hopelessness.”

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