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DFID embraces private sector development

Ryan Hahn's picture

The economic crisis is a global problem. The effects on developing countries are being felt, and are likely to get worse. Up to 90 million people could remain in, or be pushed into extreme poverty as a result. This means governments around the world are focusing as a matter of urgency on how to attract investment and create the best conditions for growth.

The role of business in development is not new. The private sector is the engine of growth in the poorest of countries, and that growth drives development. Jobs are the best way out of poverty, and nine out of ten jobs in the developing world are in the private sector. The private sector, of course, means not only big corporations, but all those market traders, entrepreneurs and farmers who sell their goods and services in the market economy.

That's DFID Minister Mike Foster writing on the Business Fights Poverty blog. Foster's post coincides with the release of DFID's Private Sector Development Strategy. Also check out materials from the launch event, held in London on January 20.

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Ryan - your readers might be interested to know that the next event in the series that you refer to is now open for registration: http://snipurl.com/b5dyg "Core business competencies for development impact: moving on from CSR" will take place on Wednesday, 11 February in London. The shift from philanthropic CSR to using core business for development impact is no longer just an idea. It is being accepted within both the development and business sectors. What are the implications for how we approach investment, ethical trade, new technology and business culture? Gareth Thomas, Minister of State for the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (DBERR) will explore the UK Government’s approach to leveraging the development benefits that business can have through its core business operations, and how DFID is now looking at responsible investment and trade through a core competency lens. Leading companies will report on their own core competency approaches, their innovations and the challenges they have addressed. Other speakers include Mike Barry, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Marks and Spencer. The event is sponsored by the Shell Foundation. Readers can also get involved in the on-line discussion, and view blogs by DFID Minister Mike Foster and Oxfam Chief Executive Dame Barbara Stocking, here: http://snipurl.com/b5e51

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