Private Sector Has Ability To Maintain, Increase Progress Against Global Poverty
The Guardian: Foreign aid is being cut, but business will keep fighting poverty
William Warshauer, president and CEO of TechnoServe
“…The new U.S. administration has proposed cutting the foreign aid budget … and eliminating certain programs. … But it’s worth remembering that there is another force out there that I believe will maintain, and even increase, progress against poverty: business. … Increasingly, … the private sector is fighting poverty abroad simply as a regular part of doing business. … [F]or the majority of businesses, sustainability has moved from a buzzword to a watchword, a necessary means to succeed in competitive markets. … Many large companies have developed their own public sustainability pledges, committing them to specific targets of improving incomes for people in the developing countries where they operate. Consider that the combined annual procurement budgets of some of these companies is larger than the entire U.S. foreign aid budget, and you start to get a sense of the potential impact. … Yes, foreign assistance can do much to help these people and many will suffer if the U.S. reduces its aid budget. But business will keep reducing poverty regardless — driven not only by growing markets but also by the limitless determination of millions of entrepreneurs in the developing world” (5/24).