Doing Business with the Poor for Prosperity

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The SNV ? WBCSD Alliance for Inclusive Business joins forces with the Inter-American Development Bank to increase business opportunities to benefit the poor in Latin America Ann Arbor, Michigan, 10 September 2007 – Building on the success of their Alliance for Inclusive Business in the Central American and the Andean Region, the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today signed a memorandum of understanding with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to increase market-based solutions for the poor in Latin America.

The agreement could help improve the living conditions of the more than 300 million people in the region (over 70% of the population) trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. In making the announcement at the Business with Four Billion: Creating Mutual Value at the Base of the Pyramid conference here, IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said that “we will be joining forces to catalyze and scale-up inclusive business opportunities that will benefit the majority.”

Latin America is the world?s most inequitable region, where employment, income and access to and quality of basic services remain largely inadequate despite modest economic growth over the last five years. Thus the region is increasingly developing sustainable and inclusive business models that seek to serve and empower the poor ? creating more employment and income opportunities as well as access to products and services critical to their well-being.

These inclusive business approaches also present opportunities for visionary companies looking for new markets to increase their competitive advantage and lower their operating costs, while helping low-income communities meet their basic needs for jobs, food, clean water, housing, education, etc.

WBCSD President Bj?rn Stigson said: “With this MOU, we underline the WBCSD?s belief that business is part of the solution in the fight against poverty. We are fully committed to catalyze, develop, execute and scale up inclusive business opportunities, and look forward to working with the IDB and SNV to make business an even more powerful force for economic development in Latin America.”

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Source: WBCSD (link opens in a new window)