Event held with Harvard Kennedy School's CSR Initiative and SABMiller, 16 January, 2014, London.
The event marked the launch of a new report by Harvard Kennedy School's Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative and Business Fights Poverty: “Sustaining and Scaling the Impact of Enterprise Development Programmes” (snipbfp.org/1eZk5wg), which draws on SABMiller’s experience to show how strengthening the underlying business ecosystem around an enterprise development programme can enhance sustainability and impact.
Jane Nelson, Director, Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative
Andres Penate, Vice President of Corporate Affairs, SABMiller Latin America
Vincent Maphai, Corporate Affairs and Transformation Director, South Africa Breweries
Christine Svarer, Head of Private Sector Engagement, CARE International
David Elliott, Head of Profession, Private Sector Development, DFID
Chair: Graham Baxter, Senior Adviser, Business Fights Poverty
Helping small businesses to grow is key to poverty alleviation, economic growth and human development. In developing countries, large companies are increasingly supporting small businesses to strengthen their value chains and local communities. Large companies are ideally placed to do this as they can create demand for the goods and services small enterprises offer and provide information, training and technology and, in some cases financing, to enable them to meet market demand.
In the course of supporting thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises within its value chain and communities around the world, SABMiller has learned that in addition to leveraging its core business operations and scale, success also depends on ensuring that growing enterprises are embedded in a strong and supportive “business ecosystem” that includes and goes beyond the company itself, to encompass amongst others: businesses, government agencies, education and training providers and the media.
At the event, Jane Nelson, Director of the Harvard Kennedy School CSR Initiative, reviewed the key themes of the report and participated in a discussion to highlight learnings from other experts about the key ingredients for enterprise development success, and the opportunities for and barriers to deeper collaboration.