Celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit, in Denver and beyond

Money Works By Cecilia Hendrix September 24, 2018

How moving money can power the entrepreneurial spirit in local communities worldwide

During Denver Startup Week, while we celebrate our city’s thriving entrepreneurial spirit, we would also like to shine a light on local economies across the globe, and the integral role that remittances play to fuel local innovation and entrepreneurship globally.

As a leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement, we know that many of our clients are migrants who send money home to help provide for basic need such as food, clothing, medical treatments, and education. Remittances from our customers play a vital role in empowering people in 200 countries and territories as well as strengthening the global ecosystem. They also have a lesser-known transformative advantage: promoting local entrepreneurship.

Most importantly, remittances inject additional capital into local economies. According to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, in 2017 an estimated 800 million people worldwide were directly supported by remittances from relatives and loved ones abroad. Most of this support covered the basic needs outlined above, but 25 percent – which amounts to over $100 billion per year – was excess to be channeled into local endeavors. This is money that could be directly invested in local businesses, allowing for larger returns and greater incentive to launch entrepreneurial ventures.

Not only do remittances allow for additional money, but they also are a reliable stream of income when other sources of capital become less available. During economic downturns and instability, financial lifelines such as microlending and private capital flows are often disrupted. For example, according to the United Nations Development Fund, remittances proved to be a more reliable stream of income during the Great Recession, as their 5.5 percent decline was minimal compared to the 40 percent decline in foreign direct investment and the 80 percent decline in private equity flows. The dependability of remittance payments allows for certainty in small business pursuits locally, around the world.

Through the additional and steady capital to small business endeavors, remittances play an integral role in innovation and entrepreneurism in local economies around the world. By facilitating these remittance payments, we at Western Union aim to unleash this potential for economic prosperity globally. So, this week, as we applaud what Denver’s brightest have accomplished and created, we also reaffirm our purpose to drive the same potential for local communities around the world.


About Western Union

The Western Union Company is a global leader in cross-border, cross-currency money movement. Our omnichannel platform connects the digital and physical worlds and makes it possible for consumers and businesses to send and receive money and make payments with speed, ease, and reliability. To learn more about us, visit www.westernunion.com.