Lately our news feeds about the business sector, government and development activities in Latin America have painted a stark picture; mostly surrounding resource competition between filling bellies and producing biofuels. The current crises elucidates the range of dilemmas faced when business and development needs are out of harmony, when they are placed in competition to one another. What results is negative local community development, compromised business outcomes and strained relationships between governments, industry and civil society.
A recent clip released on Youtube draws our attention quickly back to a more positive dynamic between civil society, business and government. It shows the height of research and implementation to date of a joint initiative for ‘Inclusive Business’ between the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). Over the past year, the alliance has been actively pursuing collaboration between business executives and civil society across Latin America to generate ideas for sustainable business opportunities. The culmination to date is highlighted within the video below.
The ‘Inclusive Business’ model presented by the alliance highlights how low income groups can be included within the value chain, how business can successfully adjust to accommodate varying local contexts and how governments are supporting such initiatives. Mostly it demonstrates practical success; profitable business and community benefit.
The fundamental problem of ‘unharmonised’ objectives between sectors, where the ‘each for their own’ mentality and exploitative practices have flourished, is shown to be successfully addressed through this initiative. It highlights the necessity for collaborative development, where business responds to development needs and where development programs do more to include business initiatives. Ultimately and as clearly pitched within the clip, business cannot operate successfully over the long term where the needs of local people are being neglected. Thus it becomes important to harness private sector involvement when designing programs for sustainable poverty alleviation.
For more information you can watch the 10 minute clip or read more about ‘Inclusive Business’ at http://www.inclusivebusiness.org/. To date there is only an English version of the release, but within weeks it will be available in Spanish also. Also use the website to find out more about mutual opportunities for growth in business and society, the design of inclusive business models, developing partnerships and for assistance with resources.