This was the question underlying an interactive workshop on ‘Overcoming Barriers to Inclusive Business Growth’ organised by the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) and the Business Call to Action (BCtA) on 7 Dec 2010 hosted at Barclays’ offices in London.
Launched in 2008, the Business Call to Action is a global initiative that aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals by challenging companies to develop innovative business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact.
The workshop engaged companies in a discussion on the challenges faced by companies when delivering inclusive business initiatives. This is built on the outcomes of a research project jointly conducted by IBLF and Accenture Development Partnerships, involving more than 15 BCtA signatory companies and partner organisations.
The workshop recommended actions for companies and other organizations that could help overcome the challenges and increase pro-poor business. An output report will be available on the IBLF website shortly.
Companies that attended the workshop included: Accenture Development Partnerships; Barclays; Diageo; Hitachi Europe; Novo Nordisk; Pfizer; Standard Chartered; Sumitomo Chemical UK; TechnoServe, The Coca-Cola Company; Twin & Twin Trading; and Vodafone.
The event primarily aimed to:
- Tap into the collective experience of all participants in terms of actual and/or potential solutions
- Recommend possible roles and actions for different stakeholders
- Identify next steps including the skills, resources and experience that companies can contribute as part of a community of practice
The workshop featured discussion from a variety of sectors.Daniel Mobley, Group Head of Public Affairs, Standard Chartered chaired a dynamic and insightful panel discussion that used real-life company experiences to inspire possible solutions. Panelists included Euan Wilmshurst, Manager, International Government Relations, Coca-Cola; Johannes Waltz, Director, Developing World and MLO Engagement, Pfizer; and Laura Crow, Sustainability Analyst, Vodafone.
Natalie Africa from the Business Call to Action Secretariat presented an overview of BCtA’s progress, and IBLF’s Director of Global Programmes Graham Baxter moderated an interactive plenary session aimed at validating the research findings of the outcome report.