My colleague and I recently met with senior managers of a large, well-established local agro-processing company. These businessmen were hard-nosed and donor-weary; they had stories to tell of NGOs who promised smallholder produce and were never able to deliver. We were there to discuss an idea which promised to facilitate the growth of a new system which we thought was an exciting possibility for commercial and long term pro-poor impact in Malawi. There were challenges that smart consultants…Continue
Added by Karen Smith on June 6, 2012 at 9:56 — No Comments
Sometimes when you ask the right audience a hard question –you get honest and direct answers! We asked a pool of high ranking business officials, “Who was responsible for alleviating poverty in this country – the Government, NGOs or the private sector?” And they said that the private sector has an important role to play – but frankly they did not always know exactly what needs to be done!
Voluntary Services Organization (VSO) Bangladesh and BIF Bangladesh got together and organized a…Continue
Added by Parveen Sultana Huda on May 30, 2012 at 7:41 — No Comments
How do successful partnerships between social entrepreneurs and big businesses get going? What are the essential building blocks involved? What are the challenges that might arise moving forward? What are the benfits and costs of partnering with social enterprises?
Join the live discussion on Thursday 22nd March,…Continue
Added by Practitioner Hub on March 16, 2012 at 13:00 — No Comments
Added by Karen Smith on March 15, 2012 at 10:28 — No Comments
The BIF Bangladesh Team has always been a proactive member of the business and development sectors. Together as a team, we have attended multiple workshops where we visualized a future where IB models would be led by successful NGO-Business partnerships. The workshops, such as the one hosted by RBPB (Responsible Business Promotion in Bangladesh), a CARE Bangladesh program, had excellent discussions featuring distinguished speakers to promote partnership.
This is why when we decided to…Continue
In an article for the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Manju Mary George stresses on the need for a new model of development in India, which involves roping in big businesses to address the constraints to scale often faced by social enterprises. While she quotes the example of Fab India and …Continue
Added by Namratha Jagadish on February 10, 2012 at 14:40 — No Comments
Before you ask me, I will explain that the partner I speak of here consists of prospects and clients courted and very gracefully served by BIF country management in the pilot countries of Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Malawi and Zambia.
Just under a year and a half ago, September 2010 to be precise, the country…
Shirley is 26, married with three children, and lives in Uganda. She runs a small kiosk that sells airtime and SIM cards for several mobile network operators (MNOs). She also sells phone cases and second-hand clothes to supplement her income. Shirley started her business as a retail agent for mobile operators with just a wooden box, a stool and an initial investment of USD75. Today, the business provides her with a…Continue
Imagine this: You manage a successful company that distributes Portable Toilet Cabins (PTC) in India. You see 24% of India’s urban population living in slums with very limited access to formal toilets, 50% of India’s population still defecating in the open, and around 6,000 children dying each day from diseases related to poor sanitation, such as diarrhoea.
You see the makings of a strong demand: a need to be…Continue
I was very interested to read the new report from Vodafone – ‘Connected Agriculture: The role of mobile in driving efficiency and sustainability in the food and agriculture value chain’, having been a participant in one of the external workshops that helped to shape it. I wasn’t disappointed. The report is well structured and…Continue
On Wednesday I was on the panel of an event organised by CARE UK, exploring partnerships between NGOs and companies. The Barclays-Care-Plan initiative, 'Banking on Change' was the kick-start for a wide discussion, in which concerns were raised: might corporates profit (implication unscrupulously) at the expense of their NGO partners?
If I was a development-focused NGO, I should want my corporate partner to profit! Or at least derive real commercial market…
My sister in law is a writer, and while she is now a successful author of short-stories she has also done a lot of writing for a wide variety of trade and travel magazines. She always complains that ‘everyone thinks they can write’, under-valuing the expertise that professional writers have. In fact, magazine writers need highly developed skills in how to write to a style, such as text that is bright and breezy and also conveys a lot of information.
It is rather the same with…Continue
Nearly two decades ago, the UN’s Rio Declaration had the goal of “establishing a new and equitable global partnership through the creation of new levels of cooperation among States, key sectors of societies and people”.
A decade ago, the major outcome of the Johannesburg follow-up Summit (Rio+10) was around the launching of 350 ‘partnerships for sustainable development’. This year, Michael Porter took up the language of ‘creating shared value’ between business and society. And…Continue
Having only touched down in Bangladesh 2 days previous, with no time to shake off the jet lag, we were off on a 3 day trip to the north of the country, boarded with India. Blaring horns, swerving cars, bustling towns, picturesque country side, people everywhere, hourly tea breaks, eating meals by hand, new smells.......it was quite an induction into Bangladeshi life.
On our first day a sales lady agreed to tell us her story. She is the sole provider in her household as her…Continue
Added by Zahid Torres-Rahman on June 1, 2011 at 13:30 — No Comments
Chief executives from leading Bangladeshi companies met with NGO leaders in Dhaka on Wednesday 12th May. The meeting, convened by CARE Bangladesh and the Business Innovation Facility, was the culmination of the Responsible Business Program Bangladesh (RBPB). The aim of the evening was to talk about how partnerships can contribute to successful inclusive business (or co-profiting, as…Continue
Added by Tom Harrison on May 25, 2011 at 17:30 — No Comments
Business Innovation Facility conducted a series of events in collaboration with the Responsible Business Promotion in Bangladesh (RBPB) project of CARE Bangladesh. The series began with two separate workshops for the business and development sector partners identifying the challenges of working with the other. More details can be found in my blog titled…Continue
Added by Parveen Sultana Huda on May 18, 2011 at 18:16 — No Comments
Shaping and sharpening the development impact of business is an exciting field. Sometimes understanding that impact is more painstaking than exciting. But painstaking detail can insightful, and guide us to the next challenge and change.
The recent collaborative report from Oxfam, Coca-Cola and SAB Miller is just one example: insightful rather than exciting, but undoubtedly useful, and not only for these organisations. ‘…Continue
Added by Caroline Ashley, Editor on May 9, 2011 at 14:30 — No Comments
Those of you who have been lucky enough to work with both businesses firms and non-Government organizations – are aware I am sure, that they do not talk the same language. Sometimes they find that their value systems are so different and their ways of working are so far apart – they would never be able to work together as partners. Fortunately (some might say Unfortunately!) for us at Business Innovation Facility – we are trying to get these two types…Continue
Businesses and NGOs are pushing beyond their traditional comfort zones as they develop new ways to partner with each other for inclusive business. This month’s Editor’s Choice is a new overview, written specifically to help NGO and company staff think through their options and approaches.
Added by Editor's Choice on May 5, 2011 at 11:12 — No Comments