David Bussau has lived and worked among the world's poor, had his life threatened by corrupt profiteers and born witness to natural and man-made disasters. For the first time this orphan turned millionaire, entrepreneur, humanitarian and ultimately co-founder of Opportunity International, one of the world's largest aid organizations, allows his full story to be told.
'I don't know who my parents are. In the orphanage I was brought up in, the emphasis was on self survival . one would come up with different approaches to solving life's problems.'
David Bussau, 'Opportunity International'
When David was left shivering at the end of a dusty road leading to a New Zealand orphanage at the age of nine it seemed his prospects could not have been bleaker, yet somehow this scared little boy managed to not only survive but flourish. At the age of fifteen David set up a his first hot dog stand at the local football ground; by 35 he was a multi-millionaire and the owner of a highly successful construction company in Sydney.
However making money for its own sake proved hollow reward for David and when Cyclone Tracy decimated Darwin in 1974 it also launched David in a whole new direction. In a voluntary capacity he took a team of tradesmen, along with his wife and two very young daughters, to Darwin to help in the rebuilding program. The experience opened his eyes, got him thinking and changed his life.
David divested himself of all his companies, poured his money into a philanthropic family trust and headed, again with family in tow, to Indonesia to help rebuilt a tornado-torn village. Ultimately this led to Opportunity International, a major global aid organisation co-founded by David and operating today in thirty eight countries.
Opportunity International is credited with revolutionizing overseas aid through the principles of micro enterprise development' - offering small repayable loans to the poor so they can start and grow their own small businesses. Once criticised for trying to inflict capitalism on the poor, today the World Bank and international aid agencies applaud the visionary nature of Bussau's principles.
Back home in Sydney, he has a family of his own - a loving wife, two grown daughters and five grandchildren - that David is devoted to. Along with the global tragedy David confronts constantly the Bussau family has not been without their personal challenges. Yet David believes, in a strange way, it was his emotionally and physically deprived background that actually enabled him to achieve all that he has in both his personal and professional lives. And it is clear that the lines between the two will always be blurred.
Philippa Tyndale is a former finance journalist who has written for the Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin and a range of personal finance related publications. In recent years she has become involved in the development field through the micro finance work of Opportunity International in developing countries. She has produced a series of short videos on the lives of poor entrepreneurs in the Philippines, East Timor and Ghana and written on microfinance and its impact on the prospects of poor people in the developing world.
Biography & Autobiography
Table Of Contents:
2. Sedgley Days: an entrepreneur in the making
3. Conquering Hills
4. Building Foundations
5. The Economics of Enough
6. Buried in the Jungle
7. Stretching Out
8. The Road out of Poverty
9. The Bigger Picture
10. Slaves and Scavengers
11. The Walls Came Down
12. A Force for the Poor
13. Nature's Fury
14. The Poorest Among the Poor
15. The Social Entrepreneur
16. New Season
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - C format
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