BFP: What do you do?
TB: I work at the UNDP-based Business Call to Action (BCtA) on strategic knowledge management with the main goals of raising awareness and building knowledge around the concept of inclusive business and around the BCtA members company initiatives.
Our members are market leaders and innovators, committed to developing commercially viable business ventures that engage people living at the base of the pyramid as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services. In close to 50 countries, over 80 member companies are spearheading efforts to provide the poor with the tools and resources they need to succeed by promoting economic opportunity. As a multistakeholder-supported initiative, BCtA provides a leadership platform for companies to demonstrate their commitment to development and to access global expertise on innovation at the BoP. You can learn more about BCtA, by visiting www.businesscalltoaction.org and by following us on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.
BFP: What is the best part about your job?
TB: The best part of my job is witnessing the peer-to-peer learning exchange (reflected in public and private online discussions, case studies, reports, and events) between innovators, who challenge “business as usual,” but often grapple with barriers in achieving sustainability and scale in their inclusive business ventures.
BFP: What have been your greatest challenges?
TB: The greatest challenge about my job is achieving this peer-to-peer learning between companies.
BFP: How have you overcome these challenges?
TB: I believe that knowledge-based partnerships with leading organizations in the field, such as Business Fights Poverty, are essential to propelling the learning exchange. Joining forces, bringing experts to the table for facilitation and discussion, and giving companies the space in both open and closed-door environments help to foster the open dialogue and knowledge exchange around their business models.
BFP: If someone wants to do what you do, where should they start?
TB: There is a proliferation of organizations and companies, who fund, implement or advocate for inclusive business and where one can get a “foot in the door”. I do, however, believe that learning about inclusive business in action is best pursued by working directly for the companies that are championing inclusive business practices across their value chains.
BFP: Finally, what do you hope to get out of being part of the BFP community?
TB: Inclusive business will not scale without a solid understanding of what works and what doesn’t and understanding the barriers and solutions companies can use to tackle them requires effective knowledge exchange between practitioners. Joining forces with the BFP community helps to achieve this goal.
Thank you to Tatiana Bessarabova for taking the time to do this interview.
Read previous Member of the Week interviews here.