Scott Gilmore

Ashoka Fellow
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Fellow Since 2012


This profile was prepared when Scott Gilmore was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Scott is regenerating local economies in the poorest and most conflict-prone countries in the world by building the market for local entrepreneurs, sellers, and service-providers. Working primarily with international aid and humanitarian agencies and multinational corporations, Scott is changing the buying practices of foreign missions to support local economies.

Scott is connecting small business entrepreneurs from emerging economies to new business opportunities, creating jobs and opening new markets for them. He is connecting them to international consumers such as the United Nations and its agencies, citizen organizations (COs), embassies, and multinational corporations that make up significant portions of the local purchasing power in conflict-prone areas.

Scott is changing these institutions’ approaches to economic development in conflict-prone countries, focusing on their ability to rejuvenate economies simply by feeding into them. He is using economic development as a way to ensure peace. Scott’s three-pronged approach involves: (i) helping to create jobs by connecting international buyers to local suppliers (ii) conducting research to increase understanding of the local impact of peace and humanitarian operations and (iii) increasing the efficiency of aid operations. Scott’s organization, Building Markets (formerly know as Peace Dividend Trust), has operated in fourteen countries, including Afghanistan, Timor Leste, Liberia, and Haiti. Through an analysis of where he can achieve highest social impact, he is spreading his model to eight countries over the next three to five years.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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