UNDP helps business' fight poverty by launching tools

Oct 1, 2010


NEW YORK — Following last week’s world leaders’ anti-poverty summit that called on the private sector to further contribute to poverty eradication, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched a knowledge sharing platform to help boost efforts by companies to fight poverty.

The new knowledge management platform ––features evidence-based case studies, publications and contacts of related actors focused on inclusive business models— models that include poor people into value chains as producers, employees and consumers.

The platform allows business leaders, policy makers, development practitioners, and academia to connect with successful enterprises across the globe, helping them build, replicate or scale up core business initiatives that contribute to human development.

It aims to support achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, the deadline for the eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation.

“With five years left to 2015, it is important that the private sector play their role in speeding up progress on the MDGs,” said Henry Jackelen, Director of the UNDP Private Sector Division. “The case studies in this unique database present evidence that it is possible for companies to fight poverty while remaining commercially viable.”  

Developed by UNDP’s Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) Initiative, the open-access platform features two complementary databases.  The Knowledge Database contains 120 in-depth business case studies and several publications from major institutions active in the private sector and development field. As part of this database, the GIM initiative has commissioned 70 new case studies from over 30 developing countries, business schools and institutions, which will be released in the coming months.

The database is easily searchable by various criteria such as region, business sector, theme (e.g. climate change, conflict, financial inclusion, etc.), lead organization, or MDG. The case studies are also searchable based on the constraints they face and the solutions used to overcome them.

Additionally, the Actor Database comprises 260 supporting actors at local, regional or global level who can provide financing, share expertise, raise awareness and work towards introducing relevant policies. They include government entities, academic institutions, development agencies, multi-stakeholder platforms and nonprofit organizations. They are searchable by country and service sector – from policy to research and advocacy, financing and capabilities.

“From the perspective of developing country entrepreneurs and academics, being able to easily access such inspiring cases from all regions ―where challenges are often similar— is very helpful to spur the replication of successful initiatives and foster greater South-South knowledge-sharing and cooperation,” said Winifred Karugu, Managing Director of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Enterprises (Kenya), and author of several GIM case studies in East Africa.

The launch of the databases follows the presentation, during the MDG summit, of a global report “The MDGs: Everyone’s Business” which features 40 case studies of inclusive business models and over 140 supporting institutions referenced by specific MDGs ―from large multinational or domestic companies to cooperatives, small and medium enterprises, and nonprofit organizations using business principles.

For the database, visit: http://www.growinginclusivemarkets.org/

To download the report The MDGs: Everyone’s Business, visit: http://www.growinginclusivemarkets.org/mdgreport/

Contact Information

Austine Gasnier
Tel: +1 212 906 5058

UNDP Around the world