Building Support for Foreign Aid Through Private Businesses
Advocates of international development and foreign aid have been saying it for years and finally the business community has started to catch on. The United Nations Development Programme has recently launched an initiative called the Business Call to Action (BCtA) which has reached out successfully to many corporations worldwide to begin to support development projects. With our world becoming ever more globalized, private sector businesses are quickly realizing the advantages, economic and otherwise to supporting these development goals.
The BCtA operates under the Creating Shared Value (CSV) principle developed by Harvard professor Michael Porter. The idea behind CSV is that businesses work together to generate profits while also working to invest in the economic stability of other nations. This not only benefits those in the beneficiary nations, but it also serves to create a viable market for the corporations themselves, increasing their own consumer base.
The UNDP and the BCtA help to connect international corporations to development projects by setting up connections between, for example, a company in Japan and farmers in Kenya. The only criteria for participating is that whatever initiative the company wants to start or invest in would align with the Millennium Development Goals such as advancing employment, providing healthcare or education etc.