What is the role of business in creating sustainable development?
The Business Alliance Against Chronic Hunger is a truly innovative, interesting, and promising approach exploring how to build on the capacity and dynamics of business to create sustainable development and alleviate hunger and poverty. The initiative was started in 2006 by a group of visionary CEOs and public leaders, who outlined an action plan for business to help reduce hunger. Through BAACH, business leverage their expertise and capabilities to improve value chains – from production processing, and packaging, to retailing and marketing, with the aim to increase food supplies, nutrition, and income in regions with malnutrition and food insecurity.
The pilot project of the BAACH is now taking action on the ground in Kenya, in the Siaya region. Hear Roselyn Omondi, the program manager of the BAACH tell about the project and the experiences so far in this short video-interview:
Why is BAACH an important and interesting initiative?
Milton Friedman long time ago argued that the business of business is business, and their contribution to society would be through creating jobs and paying taxes, and maybe once in a while channel a bit of the surplus for charity. And indeed, in many development sector arenas the expected role of business still seems to be as donors of generous grants as part of a CSR scheme. Donations do have their reason to be, since for sure not all challenges and activities can be solved with a business model. But for really sustainable development, we need sustainability both on social, environmental, and economical parameters. Continue reading
What happens when you link CSR in a company to the innovation process and core strategy of a company? Hopefully, new sustainable innovations and more growth to the company.
The Danish Centre for CSR (CenSa) at the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency (DCCA) is running the project on CSR-Driven Innovation in cooperation with the Nordic Innovation Centre and Nordic partners from different universities. The project aims at supporting the business potential among Nordic small and medium-sized enterprises by combining the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), design, innovation and growth.
The outcome of the project so far has been a report with case-studies on a range of Nordic companies using CSR as a core strategy. The report outlines a framework for different typologies of CSR-driven companies, with different ways of combinging social impact and profit as either means or goal. This is how it looks:
This framework is also useful when considering different strategies and visions for engaging in business with BoP. The report includes BoP as one of the ways to do CSR-driven innovation.
You can download the full report, plus a thorough literature review on CSR-driven innovation at the project site HERE
The Base of the Pyramid Protocol is a project run by Cornell University with a continued investigation into methodologies for co-creating value with Multinational Companies and local communities. The Protocol is very hands on and describes a process of engagement from A to Z. Some business people or consultants in a hurry might find it a bit time consuming and too in depth – but this is arguably where you establish the deep insight and deep relations to ensure a sustainable business. This is how the team describe it themselves:
The BoP Protocol™ is a pioneering business incubation process that enables multinational corporations (MNCs) to generate new business opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid. Based on a participatory philosophy, the BoP Protocol™ is a model for business co-creation that marries MNCs’ resources, technologies and best practices with those of the community. Continue reading
The UN Growing Inclusive Markets brings a strategic matrix for business trying to engage in BoP-projects or growing inclusive markets. The Matrix creates an overview of the most common constraints found in BoP-projects, and the most commonly used strategies to overcome these constraints. The matrix is of course rather general, but in this way it can provide an overview and a ‘map’ to navigate the field. However, you will need more specific methodologies also for how to actually engage in relations with local people, NGO’s, government, etc.
The report also has 50 examples of successful BoP-projects which you can read about in depth on the website also.
Growing Inclusive Markets – 50 cases
The initiative from UN about Growing Inclusive Markets have launched a report with a strategic matrix of barriers and solutions for doing Base of the Pyramid Innovation. The matrix is based on the analysis of 50 cases from around the world. They are briefly mentioned in the report. If you go to the website, you can search among the cases based on different criteria such as region or business area, and you get a fuller description of the case. Good stuff for insight and inspiration!
Find it here: www.growinginclusivemarkets.org