A realistic framework for an ideal world, by Alison Maitland

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Business leaders from companies including BP, Deloitte and Nestl? will next week spend two days closeted with United Nations executives and development agencies at a hotel near London to discuss how the private sector can make an effective impact on poverty.
The meeting, to be held under the auspices of the International Business Leaders’ Forum, an educational charity that promotes good corporate citizenship, will also consider what the
commitment from business should be when the UN reviews progress on its Millennium Development Goals in September.
In our Good Business series over the past four months, the Financial Times has turned the spotlight on strategies deployed by multinational companies that combine commercial advantage with positive social outcomes for development: infrastructure for remote rural areas, better health and loans for small-scale entrepreneurs.
These strategies are driven not by philanthropy but by business need – although companies sometimes donate expertise or money to kick-start a project that they expect will provide financial returns in the long term. With the promise of new markets on the horizon, some initially accept lower than normal returns. These initiatives typically involve companies working in partnership with governments, development agencies and local businesses.
Story found here.

Source: Financial Times