Social enterprise has made it to the main stage. Companies from Unilever to Coke are embracing the concept and even starting their own enterprises. Speakers at last year’s Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship included representatives from Marks & Spencer, Cisco, Pepsico and Nike. But is this burgeoning interest a good thing? Social enterprise and … Continue reading Is big business appropriating social enterprise?
The BBC's recent Panorama investigation, Dying for a Bargain, brought welcome attention to the issue of workers' rights in the Bangladesh garment sector, where more than 1,100 people recently died in the collapse of a garment factory at Rana Plaza. It rightly pointed out that up to a million people work in dangerous or illegal conditions at … Continue reading What the BBC didn’t say about workers in Bangladesh
Microinsurance is one part of the range of services and products that the poor need to help overcome poverty and reduce their vulnerability to shocks. However, as with all products, to be sustainable, any microinsurance model also needs to be profitable. Fortunately for the insurance industry and its clients, it’s being demonstrated that increasing profit and … Continue reading How financial literacy can help build the market for micro-insurance
I've written about the business case for empowering women producers before; but the financial justification for inclusive business goes much further than that. Today, CARE International published "A Different Cup of Tea: The Business Case for Empowering Workers in the Sri Lankan Tea Sector" which demonstrates that companies investing in one worker empowerment model, the … Continue reading The business case for worker empowerment: Evidence from the Sri Lankan tea sector
This week the UK government takes the historic step of becoming one of the first institutions to make an official statement on how companies should operationalize the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, more commonly known as the Ruggie Principles. Leading the process to formalize the ambitious but sometimes vague standards laid out … Continue reading Three reasons why the UK National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights should prioritise gender
I’ve written previously that there is business case for companies to empower women; what I didn't mention was that even if there were not, there would still be a strong legal case for them to do so. The global standard for the responsibilities of business vis-à-vis human rights is the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business … Continue reading Why the Ruggie Principles require every company to empower women
In the months since the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh sparked a drive to address worker health and safety in the garment sector, I’ve been suffering a severe case of déjà vu. Here’s how it has played out: high-profile exposure of human rights abuses, coupled with intense lobbying by civil society, causes international brands … Continue reading The evolution of multi-stakeholder initiatives: Lessons for the Bangladesh garment sector
This week American stakeholders announced the formation of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety and signatories to the European Fire and Building Safety Accord released their Implementation Plan. While both agreements represent steps in the right direction, to address the root causes of the Rana Plaza disaster, both initiatives must take further measures to build … Continue reading Preventing another Rana Plaza: Mapping the path forward
Everyone has something to say about millennials, the generation born from 1980 to the present, including how they will shape the future of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Depending on who you ask, the coming of the millennials will mean either a new era of robust and transparent approaches to corporate responsibility, or the … Continue reading Will millennials change the face of corporate responsibility? One millennial weighs in.
Miners in Liberia: Photo credit Cristina Villegas Human rights remains a topic that companies may reference perfunctorily in their codes of conduct, but few really seem to understand. In their defense, this is in part because, first, best practice standards on business and human rights are often nascent at best, and, second, human rights tend … Continue reading The 3 most common misconceptions about business and human rights
This blog was originally posted on Business Fights Poverty. It is based on the findings of the Strengthening the Dairy Value Chain project, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by CARE International Bangladesh and US. Debate on the possibilities at the base of the pyramid (BOP) is ubiquitous; nonetheless, too often regulated to a … Continue reading What your BOP strategy is missing: A gender lens
The best, scariest, most surprising, and most inspirational updates in inclusive business this month. #1: The (non) surprise update: Businesses are still ignoring the fact that women exist, losing money because of it Closing the “gender gap represented a $13 billion missed market opportunity for the mobile industry”, finds research from USAID, Aussie Aid, … Continue reading Inclusive business roundup: June 2013
There is a strong business case for sustainable and inclusive business; however, advocates should acknowledge that transitioning to this model will not always come without cost. There are three ways we can overcome these obstacles. Everyone is talking about the benefits of sustainable and inclusive business. In a recent speech, UK Minister for International … Continue reading Two reasons to ignore the business case for sustainability- and what we can do about it