Is Business The New Aid?

24

Oct

Great article by Zahid Torres-Rahman from Business Fights Poverty on why business is central to development, how business models can evolve to meet the need sustainably, and how can we measure the impact the private sector has and engage business at scale.

The article is a follow up on Business Fights Poverty’s excellent “Business for Development Impact” event series. Excerpt below:

“Is business the new aid? Of course not. Is business—in all its diversity—central to development? Of course it is. [...] When poor people are asked what they see as their key strategies for escaping poverty, they overwhelmingly say getting a job or growing a business.

The Western-dominated development community has—where it has thought about business—tended traditionally to focus on “obligation” (controlling a fundamentally “problematic” private sector), rather than on “opportunity” (thinking about how business can contribute to core development objectives). Yet enterprise—the private sector and the opportunities it creates—is the only long-term strategy for development. It is the only sustainable and scalable option for improving livelihoods for poor people around the world.

when poor people are asked what they see as their key strategies for escaping poverty, they overwhelmingly say getting a job or growing a business.
The Western-dominated development community has—where it has thought about business—tended traditionally to focus on “obligation” (controlling a fundamentally “problematic” private sector), rather than on “opportunity” (thinking about how business can contribute to core development objectives). Yet enterprise—the private sector and the opportunities it creates—is the only long-term strategy for development. It is the only sustainable and scalable option for improving livelihoods for poor people around the world.

The NGO sector is making [this shift towards using the private sector]. Oxfam, CARE and FARM-Africa, are just three stand-out examples of NGOs that have been proactively engaging in this agenda, from supporting small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs to partnering with large companies to advance development goals.”

Read the full article here »

Copyright © 2011 Zahid Torres-Rahman, Business Fights Poverty
Article from http://fightpoverty.visibli.com/share/JM75co

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