Taken from http://businessfightspoverty.ning.com

Following last month’s world leaders’ anti-poverty summit that called on the private sector to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGS), Business Action for Africa and eight other leading business organizations today launched a report geared towards helping businesses join the fight against poverty.

The report, Delivering Results: Moving Towards Scale, highlights the best practices, lessons learnt and challenges that companies face when developing inclusive business models. The report is the result of a half-day forum at the United Nations MDG Summit in New York on September 21, 2010, which brought together more than 200 leaders from companies, governments, international organizations, aid agencies, and NGOs from around the globe.

The MDGs are eight targets that aim to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, inadequate shelter, gender inequality and environmental degradation in developing countries by 2015, agreed upon by 189 states in 2000.

The report identifies eight main focus areas that will prove essential in advancing the future development of Inclusive Business, including the need for experimentation and room to innovate; the imperative for understanding low-income consumers; the necessity for collaboration; the importance of the right government policies and regulations to incentivize companies to further invest; the need for practical tools and resources to support inclusive business development; the importance of leadership; the necessity for striking a balance between short and long-term business goals, and overcoming infrastructure challenges through innovative partnerships.

The report also provides concrete examples of how businesses worldwide are a catalyst for social and economic progress including The Coca-Cola Company’s efforts to enable jobs, entrepreneurship and opportunities for women through its innovative micro-distribution network across Africa while growing its business. Another example includes Diageo’s commitment to promoting the development of local sorghum supply chains in Cameroon and securing its own access to a supply of quality grain by investing in farmers.

The report is a joint effort between the by Business Action for Africa, Business Call to Action, International Business Leaders Forum, International Chamber of Commerce, United Nations Development Programme, The Global Compact, United Nations Office for Partnerships, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative.

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