Image: Impact workers employed by B2R Technologies in India. Credit B2R Technologies
On International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, global businesses collaborate to launch a new toolkit, Reducing Poverty through Employment. Members of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) share best practices for how to employ, empower, and improve the advancement prospects of those living in poverty, as a part of their direct and indirect workforces.
Last Thursday was International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Whilst ending poverty is a motivating goal, it is not always clear how to work towards this lofty ambition through day-to-day business operations. In a new toolkit, Reducing Poverty through Employment, members of the Global Impact Sourcing Coalition (GISC) have collaborated to share their experience of how to use employment to reduce poverty.
The Toolkit serves as a guide for companies on how to get started or how to enhance existing efforts to employ, empower, and improve the advancement prospects of those living in poverty as a part of their direct and indirect workforces.
Globally, over 700 million people continue to subsist below the international extreme poverty line, and many more live below national poverty lines. Employing and training these individuals for quality work opportunities with career advancement potential is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty. Importantly for companies, it is also an investment that can create business value and build competitive advantage amidst evolving labour markets and increasing customer and stakeholder expectations for the private sector to contribute to sustainable development.
Tim Hopper, Responsible Sourcing Manager, Microsoft, said: “We have long been aware of the power of procurement in generating positive social impact and intentionally work with companies who are practicing inclusive hiring. The Reducing Poverty through Employment Toolkit is a vital support for companies seeking to develop employment opportunities that can create pathways out of poverty. We hope this guidance will increase the number of companies committing to Impact Sourcing.”
Through literature review and drawing on the extensive knowledge and good practices of GISC member companies around the globe, GISC has identified four key areas in which companies can get started implementing best practices to provide employment opportunities with the potential to create pathways out of poverty:
The Toolkit includes case studies from GISC members Sutherland, Televerde, B2R Technologies and PeopleShores PBC, who share how they have made inclusive hiring a fundamental choice for their businesses. Their experiences show that businesses can play an important role in reducing poverty.
Dhiraj Dolwani, CEO, B2R Technologies, Pvt. Ltd, said: “Before Y2K, India was known for her poverty. Afterwards, she became known for her techies. But a reputation pivot did not solve India’s poverty challenge. Intentionally creating businesses in rural India and developing local talent is a sustainable manner to make a difference.”
With business being a critical actor to end poverty, now is the time to combine SDG 1 (No Poverty) with SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth) to reduce poverty through employment.
Watch a webinar introduced the new toolkit with representatives of GISC members Televerde, Sutherland, and Microsoft discussing how they are using employment to help tackle poverty and provide vital life opportunities for vulnerable and marginalized groups.
GISC is a collaboration between leading companies to build more inclusive global supply chains by hiring impact workers—people who were previously long-term unemployed or living in poverty.