While the social impact and business agenda is shaping up for 2020, we first wanted to share the most popular stories we published in 2019 with you. A huge thank you to the authors featured in this list and to all of you who made contributions. We hope these stories inspire you and welcome your submissions this year*.
While partnerships will always vary, one constant you can be sure of is that every new partnership is a learning opportunity. Our new venture with Tesco has been no exception. From collaboration to creativity, here are some of the key principles we learned as we went through the process.
By May 2018, we knew something was missing in the business model for Sama Sama, a toilet business iDE had started in rural Ghana in 2016.1 After two years of knocking on doors, sales were lower than expected or desired. This is a sure sign that another round of design is needed.
Japan’s maker of water and housing products, LIXIL, has invested in a sustainable social business – SATO – to help bring affordable toilets to those that need them. In 2018, their work on SATO led them to a new partnership, “Make a Splash! Toilets for All” with UNICEF to tackle the global sanitation challenge. How did this partnership evolve and what has been learnt along the way?
I’ve often considered being the odd one out as something of a badge of honour, particularly in a business context. Any aspiring intrapreneur needs to be comfortable with breaking free from the herd, even if others think you’re a little bit crazy.
At the Clinton Foundation, we believe that everyone deserves a chance to succeed, everyone has a responsibility to act, and we all do better when we work together. It’s this belief that led President Clinton to launch the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), which convenes leaders through its Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery to support recovery and resiliency efforts in the Caribbean.
Over the past several years GSK has strengthened the role of purpose within its business strategy and day to day operations. Sally Jackson from GSK shares insights on how to define and embed authentic purpose and reflects on how prioritisation is essential for transformational change.
Gender Based Violence (GBV) affects 1 in 3 women globally and has been referred to by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as a political ‘global pandemic’ and ‘a mark of shame on all our societies’. A new Business Fights Poverty toolkit has been published to help companies tackle violence and harassment and domestic violence. These two forms of violence can affect employees full and equal participation in the workforce.
Over the past year, the UK Department for International Development, through the Inclusive Business Boost programme, has supported the development of knowledge products to help multinational corporations (MNCs) scale and replicate inclusive business initiatives. We are pleased to be sharing the full suite of resources with you here.
As world leaders and activists gathered in New York last month to address the climate crisis and the faltering rate of progress toward the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the calls for systemic change are getting ever louder. Systems change is an inspiring goal – but how can we achieve it?
There is a clear and deepening frustration amongst some with the rhetoric of “purpose”. For those of us who believe in the power of business to do good, this is an opportunity for some honest self-reflection. But ultimately purpose is still worth believing in for three good reasons.
*What will be the focus of your work in 2020? At Business Fights Poverty, we are setting out to explore impact measurement, climate and communities, and emergent trends in gender equality (See Business Fights Poverty Magazine Issue 4 for additional themes).
Whether you are delving into these topics or others, we would love to hear from you!