Women and innovation: Making the connection

There is growing evidence that greater gender equality leads to increased business innovation, and companies that pay attention stand to reap great rewards. The business case for gender equality is compelling, and few still doubt that investing in women as employees and entrepreneurs leads to increased productivity and profitability. But one piece of the puzzle … Continue reading Women and innovation: Making the connection

Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Reframing the problems of big data: When the implications of big data are debated the problem most often presented is that of data surplus. Questions of what applications produce what data, or what companies have access to it, all rest on the assumption that a great deal of data is available for analysis. These questions … Continue reading Data poverty: How the rise of big data risks marginalizing the world’s poorest

Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

Empowering women is not without risks – we need to identify and overcome them. There’s a statistic that most development practitioners will have heard quite frequently: empowering women farmers would decrease the number of hungry by up to 150 million. There are many facts like it, all meant to make the case for women’s economic empowerment. … Continue reading Empowerment beyond the buzzword: Unintended consequences of women’s economic empowerment

Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

I was working in my room on the fourth floor of a hotel in Dhaka, Bangladesh's busy capital, when I saw a man hanging by a rope. To be precise, he was suspended on a fragile-looking piece of wood tied to a single swaying cord. The words emblazoned on his t-shirt read "Jesus ♥ Me". … Continue reading Hanging by a thread: Workers’ rights and lives

Demystifying social enterprise and inclusive business

This year’s Skoll World Forum on Social Enterprise only confirmed the accelerating levels of interest in social business. The event brought together representatives from the private, public and non-profit sectors, all of whom agreed on one point: inclusive business is the future. However, there is one point which lacked any degree of accord: namely, what … Continue reading Demystifying social enterprise and inclusive business

Is big business appropriating social enterprise?

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 business case for worker empowerment: Evidence from the Sri Lankan tea sector

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

Preventing another Rana Plaza: Mapping the path forward

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

Will millennials change the face of corporate responsibility? One millennial weighs in.

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.

The 3 most common misconceptions about business and human rights

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

What your BOP strategy is missing: A gender lens

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

Inclusive business roundup: June 2013

 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

Two reasons to ignore the business case for sustainability- and what we can do about it

  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