The Power of Business-Driven Development
In 2011, Africa received $7 billion USD more in foreign direct investment than foreign aid, providing unprecedented potential for large-scale economic growth and opportunity. In fact, as companies expand their operations in frontier markets, we are witnessing businesses from developed and developing countries alike delivering a profound, positive impact through employment opportunities, training and education, supply chain linkages, new products and services, and more. These social and economic impacts are stimulated by fundamental business needs, and companies are increasingly recognizing their value to long-term, bottom-line growth.
This week, the Initiative for Global Development (IGD) launched a working paper, The Business Case for Development: How Companies Can Drive Sustainable Development and How Government Donors Can Leverage Their Impact, at a CSIS-Chevron Forum in Washington D.C. The report was written with input from leading U.S., European, and African multinational corporations and highlights the private sector’s potential for contributing to positive development impact through core business activities. We also explore the opportunity for donors and governments to leverage the power of business to achieve large-scale, long-term impact.
The working paper describes many examples of how companies are changing communities and lives, including:
By highlighting the “business case for development,” we hope to stimulate further knowledge-sharing about how companies can successfully invest in Africa and other challenging markets while delivering long-lasting economic and social value to communities in which they operate—and how governments and donors can leverage that impact. This is a win for development, a win for business, and most importantly, a win for communities in need of economic hope and opportunity.
Jennifer Potter is CEO of the Initiative for Global Development (IGD). IGD engages global business leaders to reduce poverty through strategic, catalytic investment in the developing world, with a current focus on Africa. The IGD network is comprised of CEOs and other business leaders from African, South Asian, U.S., and European companies who are recognized sector leaders and share a commitment to poverty reduction.