We co-create integrated knowledge and engagement activities in support of specific Challenges and beyond.
Latest insights, trends and practical examples from members and Content Partners, published every weekday.
In-person and online events, creating opportunities to connect with like-minded people on specific topics.
Expert online panel discussions to explore cutting edge thinking on what works and what doesn’t.
Practical reports, briefing papers and toolkits distilling latest thinking and good practice.
Engaging video resources to deepen knowledge and inspire action.
Business Fights Poverty launched a discussion in June 2019, supported by GSK, Unilever and Visa, around the question “How can companies and investors collaborate to embed purpose authentically into business?”. This Discussion Paper summarises the context and conclusions. In addition to our own experience and research, we have drawn from the discussions with our supporters, as well as over 300 practitioners and experts who shared their insights at the Business Fights Poverty Oxford Conference on 11 July 2019; an online discussion on 11 July 2019 that attracted close to 3,000 people; the Business Fights Poverty New York City Business Event on 23 September 2019; a private Roundtable Discussion in London on 11 November 2019 and an online survey of the Business Fights Poverty community that attracted over 200 responses.
The recent surge of support for micro-, small- and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) since the global pandemic has provided much needed short-term relief and has helped to remind us that many different sectors share the same goal of helping MSMEs to thrive. At the same time, the global crisis has also highlighted the deeply entrenched, complex and interconnected challenges MSMEs face. There is growing recognition that support for MSMEs could be made more impactful if all sectors work together to remove the underlying barriers that stand in the way of MSMEs re-building from the crisis. This Guide from Business Fights Poverty and Endeva aims to demonstrate that by combining their strengths in a systematic way, stakeholders can magnify their impact both in terms of commercial results and social impact and more effectively tackle MSME barriers to success. This approach is called Market Building Collaboration.
The aim of this paper is to provoke and stimulate ideas prior to the online Futuremakers Forum. The paper outlines the issues the Forum will tackle, posing questions for the reader. The questions aim to ignite thinking on the solutions to the issues raised. This paper was generated from a series of interviews with young people, practitioners in the area of youth employment, philanthropists and Standard Chartered’s clients during March and April 2020.
The Response Framework was produced by Business Fights Poverty with the Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Responsibility Initiative. It is intended to support a process of rapid shared learning and co-creation. We hope that it will provide a useful framing for practical conversations, and will inform coalition building and local action. The paper forms one part of a wider response that we are convening to crowdsource and share best-practice examples and insights from a variety of companies, industry sectors, and countries.
This report illustrates why, where and how companies can engage men as allies to advance gender equality across their value chains. Whilst efforts to engage men as allies are relatively nascent, this report highlights examples of how companies are taking action including in supply chains, workplaces and through advertising. The report provides business leaders with insights and guidance to take action to engage men as allies at three mutually reinforcing levels: Individual, Organizational and Societal. It is the key output of a Challenge which ran for nine months in collaboration with ABInBev, Stanford University's VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab and CARE.
Welcome to the Business Fights Poverty Magazine. The ways in which business can and should be addressing social issues are many and complex. This magazine helps you to navigate the challenges and find out about some of the leading edge thinking and topics across the space. Download the latest issue and past issues here.
This report summarises six case studies that demonstrate the potential for technology to contribute to the fight against recruitment-fee debt bondage in global supply chains. They show how technology can help to create closer, two-way connections between a company and the workers in its supply chain, which may in turn reveal hidden, illicit practices that contribute to modern slavery. Technology applications also focus on increasing transparency in the recruitment and contracting process, and in relation to workplace conditions. Blockchain-enabled applications can guarantee that the contract and terms offered to attract a worker into a role are maintained securely and not altered at the whim of an employer. Social auditors can benefit from both kinds of application – improving the quality and inclusiveness of worker engagement in the auditing process and assessing the degree to which the original terms of a contract are being complied with.
This Toolkit provides a five step framework to help business tackle Gender Based Violence in the world of work. It includes top tips, a BSR Diagnostic tool and case studies illustrating how companies are starting to tackle this complex issue. It is the key output of the GBV Challenge which ran for nine months with support from International Finance Corporation (IFC) Anglo American, Primark and CARE International UK.
This series of case studies forms part of the Business Integrity Initiative, an online hub that signposts companies to anti-corruption and human rights guidance and provides support to SMEs on anti-bribery and corruption compliance and prevention. The goal is to encourage companies to put integrity at the heart of their business strategies and practices. This in turn will help developing countries to attract long-term, sustainable investment while reducing the supply of bribes and human rights abuses by UK companies. The case studies include a number of companies that are benefiting from doing business with integrity; Forensic Pathways, Dints, MLM, and Coltraco Ultrasonics, all of whom are enjoying significant commercial success in frontier markets by putting integrity at the heart of their business model and relationships with commercial partners.
This report is primarily written for business and its role in supporting education and the SDGs. It is also meant to support the education community and other organisations with a stake in advancing education and training for sustainable development. The report shares a selection of good practice examples and insights that are intended to help raise awareness, spark new ideas and inspire more opportunities for collaboration. The project was led by Business Fights Poverty, Pearson, Arizona State University and PRME, an initiative of the United Nations Global Compact.
Cargill and CARE’s 50-year partnership offers insights and lessons for anyone looking to build an effective and long- term partnership. In this Briefing Paper, we describe how the partnership has evolved from a primarily philanthropic relationship to one that, especially over the past 10 years, has genuinely drawn on the capabilities, skills and resources of the two partners. Based on interviews with experts across Cargill and CARE, both centrally and in country offices, we explore what the benefits (and challenges) have been and distil lessons across five pillars for scaling and creating lasting impact through corporate-NGO partnerships.
This business guide provides a framework for understanding the Intrapreneurship Ecosystem – the complex set of processes, practices, resources and relationships which collectively serve to facilitate or inhibit intrapreneurship and social innovation. It is a key output of the Intrapreneur Systems Challenge which was jointly hosted by Business Fights Poverty and The League of Intrapreneurs with support from DFID, CEMEX and The BMW Foundation. The guide identifies key components of the intrapreneurship ecosystem and suggests practical steps that companies can take to strengthen the supporting environment for social innovation inside their organisations.
This series of briefs provides practical insights into refugee-inclusive business models and recommendations on how to bring them to scale. The full series is intended to mobilise more business action and strengthen the foundation for partnerships to improve refugees’ wellbeing, education, and economic inclusion so refugees can thrive, not just survive. It is a product of the Business Fights Poverty Business and Refugees Challenge supported by Pearson and in partnership with Mercy Corps, UNHCR, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Business Call to Action, and Innovest Advisory.
With the advent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), new models of collaboration are transforming the way different sectors approach and tackle shared sustainable development risks and opportunities. An emerging area of collaboration between civil society and business is centred around policy advocacy and the opportunity for both sectors to work together to influence and encourage appropriate government policies in support of the SDGs. This guide explores how civil society and business are joining voices to change policy, attitudes and practices. It is aimed at practitioners working in policy, advocacy and government relations roles in civil society organisations and businesses. We also hope the guide will be a useful resource for policy makers looking to engage external stakeholders in policy development in support of the SDGs.
This guide, produced by Business Fights Poverty in partnership with Endeva, BRAC, CDC and DFID, is written primarily for potential investors in low-cost private education. Our aim is to enable investors to direct their resources and influence towards proven solutions that strengthen quality in education and address the particular challenges of inclusivity that arise from a fee-based model.
This report aims to advance learning on how to improve the economic benefits of trade for smallholder farmers and their families. It seeks to clarify the roles and levers for companies and other actors, often working together, to help increase smallholder farmers’ incomes. The report has been developed through a collaboration between Sustainable Food Lab and Business Fights Poverty with leading food and beverage companies, nongovernmental organisations and researchers.
This report explores how we unlock capital to deliver the SDGs. Collaboration between different types of organisations from the private sector, governments, multilateral organisations, social enterprises and civil society is the best chance that we have in doing this. This report showcases a selection of successful collaborations, in order to share lessons with investors, beneficiaries and the development community.
This a guide to business support for youth skills development. The guide has been developed by Business Fights Poverty as part of the Challenge on Youth Employability, supported by Anglo American, Barclays, BRAC, Citi, DFID and Pearson. The Guide captures key messages and lessons from companies and their partners in civil society, the donor community and government, about how business can best support young people as they transition into work.
A guide that provides insights into the opportunities and challenges businesses face in integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their core operations and supply chains. The guide was developed by Business Fights Poverty in partnership Ashridge Hult Centre for Business and Sustainability, as part of the Challenge on Embedding the SDGs. The Challenge was supported by Pearson, CEMEX, De Beers Group and DFID. Through company examples, the Guide illustrates the ways in which businesses are linking the SDGs to strategic priorities and bringing them to life in the business.
This business guide explains what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are, how they link to smallholder sourcing programmes and ways for a company to contribute to their achievement. The guide was developed as part of the Challenge on the SDGs and Agriculture, in partnership with Sustainable Food Labs. The Challenge was supported by AB InBev, Mars and DFID. The guide sets out some practical steps to start the process of operationalising the SDGs, building on existing practices and sustainability work that field based teams are already engaged in, often in collaboration with other stakeholders.
This discussion paper explores models of distribution and sales networks that strengthen micro-enterprises and expand economic opportunities for low-income people in developing countries. The report was developed by Business Fights Poverty as part of the Challenge on Inclusive Distribution. The Challenge was supported by Citi Foundation. It highlights the key challenges in scaling these models as well as the emerging lessons from companies and partnerships that are experimenting with new solutions and/or succeeding in reaching scale.
The Sustainable Development Goals set an ambitious agenda for us all. The priority now must be on action and delivery. This event, held on 19 September 2016 in New York, focused on innovative ways in which businesses and development partners are collaborating to help deliver the SDGs forward.
Micro-enterprises are the lifeblood of many communities and a critical source of employment and livelihoods. Larger companies rely on the effective operation and growth of micro-enterprises in their value chains, often as suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers. The report was developed as part of the Challenge on Strengthening Micro-Enterprises in Value Chains, with the Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Responsibility Initiative and CARE International UK. The Challenge was supported by SABMiller. The Report highlights the need to move towards a more holistic form of collaboration with the aim of strengthening the broader “market system” in which their value chain and micro-enterprises operate.
This report by the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, co-authored by Business Fights Poverty's, Beth Jenkins, seeks to distill the lessons—and strategic questions—from the New Vision for Agriculture experience to date for system leaders in agriculture, food security, and beyond.
The scale and ambition of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require us to be bold and creative in how we work together to achieve them. This report with Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative, and in partnership with the SDG Fund, provides a practical framework for how to engage effectively with business in support of the SDGs. It provides a business perspective on what works, what does not and what more can be done by the UN to harness the full potential of what business can bring.
A report by Acumen and Business Fights Poverty that explores the comparative advantages of social enterprise and global corporations that, if harnessed through partnership, can unlock new worlds of impact for the businesses involved and for the societies in which they operate.
A Report by Business Fights Poverty and Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative, looking at the critical enabling conditions that must be in place to align business incentives and capabilities in favor of success at scale. This report identifies what these "building blocks" are, takes stock of the progress we are making in putting them in place, and explores what more needs to be done.
Drawing upon leadership perspectives from Diageo, IBM, Marks & Spencer, The Coca-Cola Company, and Unilever, this paper demonstrates the diverse ways in which multinational companies are striving to create business value and development impact in the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector.
This year's New Africa Report with the Initiative for Global Development explores the mix of strategies needed to close Africa's energy gap - an issue that is routinely cited by large and small businesses as the most significant barrier to their success, and which also impacts healthcare and education outcomes.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative looking at SABMiller's 4e Camino al Progreso Program - a partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and FUNDES to empower the many small-scale retailers that sell their products in their value chain. The report describes the model in detail for those interested in replicating aspects of it in other parts of the world.
A higher level of environmental, social, and financial performance is now expected in sugar production—and all stakeholders must work together to achieve it. The report identifies six building blocks necessary to align the incentives of growers, mills, refiners, traders, and buyers in favor of more sustainable sugar production at scale. It then summarizes the progress a range of organizations and initiatives are making to put these building blocks in place, as well as the challenges they are facing and the key questions they will need to answer to accelerate change.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and the Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative that explores in depth the approach one company, SABMiller, is taking to support entrepreneurs in its value chain and broader community by strengthening the wider environment or ‘business ecosystems’ in which they are embedded.
How can business tap into the opportunities that Nigeria presents, while also maximising its contribution to long-term growth and broad-based socio-economic impact? Read our Report with on http://www.igdleaders.org launched in Abuja in 2014.
A Report by Business Action for Africa, Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative and The Partnering Initiative, looking at how companies and their partners are working to catalyse systemic change in a wide range of ways. The report makes recommendations for all stakeholders concerned with establishing the means and mechanisms to tackle deeply entrenched systemic challenges.
A report by Business Fights Poverty and the Harvard Kennedy School’s CSR Initiative on The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative, which aims to improve the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs within the Company’s global value chain by 2020. The Report studies and shares some of the early lessons of implementing the initiative.
The world is waking up to a New Africa. The predominant theme in the emerging narrative is no longer war, famine and disease but rather strong economic performance. Investors are realising that Africa is good for business. Strong economic growth, business friendly reforms, mature financial institutions and some large economies add up to an enticing proposition. At the same time, increased investor interest is having a beneficial impact on many African countries: business is good for Africa. Business Action for Africa and Ernst & Young invited a range of business, donor and academic leaders to share their perspectives on the New Africa.
The Report brings together leading business voices from Africa to explore two themes: that Africa is good for business, and that business is good for Africa.
This report by Business Action for Africa, Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative and The Partnering Initiative looks at the role of partnering with business deliver the Post-2015 development framework and achieve sustainable prosperity in Africa.
Business Action for Africa’s 2010 Report, produced with the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, examines how business- driven partnerships are addressing Africa’s development challenges in new and innovative ways, redrawing the boundaries of what is possible, and creating new frontiers for sustainable development and growth on the continent. Drawing on detailed case studies from BAA member companies and the Harnessing the Power of Business for Development Impact event series, supported by Business Action for Africa, UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the CSR Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School, the report addresses four challenge areas—enterprise development, regional integration and trade, human development, and environmental sustainability— and examines the role of business and what can be achieved in collaboration with others.
The 2009 global economic and financial crisis had severe implications for the economic and social progress made across Sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time it presented an opportunity to stimulate new thinking on how to generate innovative and more sustainable ways to support the region’s growth and development. Business Action for Africa invited a wide range of leading thinkers from business, government and the NGO community both international and from Africa to share their views on how to ensure the private sector continues to act as the engine room of growth and development, and the type of policies required to help businesses to manage and innovate through the crisis.
In 2008, halfway to the deadline for meeting the internationally-agreed Millennium Development Goals, Business Action for Africa invited a wide selection of leading thinkers to share their views on the evolving discussion about the role of business. The result is an insightful and thought-provoking assessment of the private sector’s role in accelerating progress towards the MDGs in Africa and the key priorities moving forward.