Action on poverty can benefit business performance, as well as building a better world in which to operate. Even in hard times, it can make commercial sense for companies to develop markets that include poor people, and business models that address poverty.
A Eurozone breakup could cost the world's poorest countries US$30 billion in lost trade and foreign investment, international agency Oxfam warned ahead of the G20 leaders meeting in Mexico to discuss the state of the global economy.
This briefing paper highlights the increasing use by development finance institutions of financial intermediaries to channel their funding. It identifies features of this lending and the implications for affected communities’ access to land and resources. It also provides recommendations for addressing concerns related to these investments.
Gender equality gives businesses the opportunity to hire from a wider pool of talent, gain greater insights into consumers’ needs, and improve the security and quality of supply. This report asks: Is your business taking it seriously? Enlightened businesses are realising that enabling women’s full potential delivers returns. For business, equal treatment of women and men means access to the most talented pool of workers, a more balanced and talented board, greater appeal to the consumer base, an enhanced corporate reputation, and even a more stable supply of basic commodities.
The New Zealand investment industry has an important role to play in tackling poverty through responsible investment policies and public reporting, said Oxfam New Zealand Executive Director Barry Coates at the Responsible Investment Association Australia (RIAA) briefing in Auckland today.
Why is Oxfam talking about business and climate change? Because we believe that companies can help to determine whether the world wins or loses the fight against climate change. The consequences could not be more important – not only for millions of poor people around the world but also for the health and stability of the global economy.
Companies often underestimate their impact on people living in poverty. Developing a deeper understanding of the issues benefits businesses themselves and helps them to make a bigger contribution to reducing poverty. Forward-thinking businesses with operations in emerging markets know that global challenges such as extreme poverty, resource scarcity, and climate change require new thinking. Business models need to be based on a deep understanding of realities in the developing world.
A joint initiative between Oxfam and the investment industry, The Better Returns in a Better World Project aims to assess the potential for investors to contribute to poverty alleviation through their investment activities.