Business Call to Action Newsletter - April 2014




It has been a productive first quarter of the year for the BCtA: we are enhancing our advocacy and awareness-raising activities through knowledge products and partnerships, and preparing to roll out new services for our member companies.

Later this year, the BCtA will produce an in-depth results report in order to share the progress of BCtA initiatives. This will coincide with the rollout of a mobile-enabled tool to assist member companies with data collection for impact measurement.
In addition, BCtA has launched a new partnership with Guardian Sustainable Business, which greatly enhances our ability to advocate on behalf of inclusive business and showcase the work of our members and partners.
Launched as part of the hub focusing on the role of business in development, the BCtA partner zone page features an array of articles challenging the roles of private- and public-sector actors in propelling inclusive business.

Visit BCtA’s new platform with the Guardian to learn more >>

Sahba Sobhani
Acting Programme Manager
Business Call to Action



Partner Spotlight: Q&A with Lena Ingelstam, Director of Partnerships and Innovations, Swedish International Development Cooperation (Sida)

Q: What is the Swedish Government's strategy regarding the private sector’s role in development
The Swedish Government’s strategy is very clear – private sector actors have an important role to play and we are working to find new and innovative ways of collaborating with them to effectively contribute to development objectives. Sida’s development cooperation is untied and therefore open to the private sector all over the world. We see our support as additional and catalytic. The idea is to make things happen that would not otherwise occur by, for example, sharing costs. But equally important is know-how and access to national stakeholders and networks in developing countries. These things are imperative to create conditions for sustainable development. Collaborating with the private sector is not only relevant for economic growth – the Swedish Government's strategy also emphasizes that it is important to leverage resources and innovation capacity from business in all thematic areas.

Q: How can platforms like BCtA, supported by Sida, achieve the development goals of donor governments?

Sida has been supporting BCtA since 2011. By challenging companies to commit to inclusive business practices through implementation of specific in-country initiatives, we believe that BCtA can facilitate ‘learning by doing’ and broker peer-to-peer and sector outreach. BCtA also provides a great network between a range of different actors; allowing for access to expertise and collaborating opportunities.
We are very keen to continue to take an active part in the further development and design of BCtA during the next implementation phase in 2014-2016. We hope to see more committed companies joining, including an increased number of SMEs and national companies from the developing markets. The new phase is also expected to improve further the tools and methods for measurement of inclusive business impact. This is important in order to keep the momentum of engagement. We need to be able to demonstrate business and development value from the investment and to learn from the initiatives supported.

Read full Q&A here>>
Visit Sida’s website to learn more >>

IWD 2014: Highlighting the Role of Inclusive Business in Empowering Women Globally

On the eve of the 2014 International Women’s Day, the BCtA, in partnership with the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, held the day-long event, “Turning Inspiration into Action: Next Steps for the Private Sector to Empower Women Globally.” This year’s annual forum brought together public- and private-sector leaders committed to the economic empowerment of women.

In line with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, “Inspiring Change”, BCtA was also happy to have Mr. Pierre Borjesson, Senior Sustainability Specialist at H&M, announce that company’s commitment to the BCtA platform. As part of its goal to make continuous and lasting improvements to the garment industry in Bangladesh, H&M plans to provide enhanced job training for garment workers and create a skill-development center of excellence in Bangladesh. The company will also invest in skills training, which will benefit an estimated 5,000 individuals by 2016. Learn more about H&M’s commitment>>

In attendance with other inspiring female leaders, Chelsea Clinton, Vice-Chair of Clinton Foundation, made special remarks and thanked BCtA for its commitment to the cause. Speakers from BCtA member companies included ClickMedix’s Founder and CEO Ting Shih, L’Occitane USA’s Marketing Director Ashley Arbuckle and Envirofit’s Director of Communications Jessica Alderman.

Learn more about the event>>


Under the theme of “Creating What’s Next,” this year’s Mobile World Congress confirmed that the Internet and technology industry is paying attention to new market opportunities, which will have important implications for the development of new inclusive business models. BCtA attended the event in Barcelona – where 85,000 people participated in the world’s largest conference for mobile technology – to learn and share best practices with experts who discussed mobile platform applications that can reach poor people. As mobile money becomes a mainstream product, the experts presented various services and product applications, including skills training for improving health outcomes, youth education, women’s empowerment and financial inclusion services.

Read more about the event >>



Introducing BCtA's New Mobile-Enabled Survey Services to Measure Impact of Inclusive Business

BCtA is pleased to announce the launch of a new service focused on measuring results of inclusive business initiatives to better understand their social and economic impacts. Many member companies have experienced difficulties with measuring their results due to a lack of relevant data, lack of consistent measurement frameworks and methods, and limited resources. The BCtA Secretariat aims to address these challenges by helping member companies to continually measure and monitor their initiatives’ unique data through this new service.
The service will enable companies’ field staffs to administer easy-to-use customized surveys on mobile devices to collect data from customers. The mobile surveys are designed to provide the companies with information that will help them to understand the social impacts of their inclusive business initiatives, and data to learn more about their business environments. This service will also be used to directly monitor customer satisfaction and operational performance, which will ultimately help companies to improve their business performance. BCtA plans to formally launch this service over the summer.



   BASF India: training farmers on sustainable agriculture practices in India

CEMEX Patrimonio Hoy (PH): offering customized solutions to low-income families to construct  housing in Mexico
                     CEMEX PiAC: improving housing opportunities for low-income families in Mexico
   DATAWIND: using technology to fight poverty and empower universal education
H&M: implementing certified training programs to improve factory worker incomes in Bangladesh
      Naya Jeevan: offering health insurance products to the poor in Pakistan
PagPop: democratizing payment options for MSMEs in Brazil by increasing access to credit card payments

 Taze&Kuru: employing farmers in the production of dehydrated fruit products in Turkey

From the Guardian Partner Zone

Women hold the key to a world with zero hunger >>
The World Food Programme is working alongside companies to invest in and promote the important roles that women play in eradicating world hunger

ClickMedix: enabling women to become the virtual eyes and ears of doctors >>
Ting Shih on how ClickMedix empowers frontline health practitioners to serve as the virtual eyes, ears and hands of medical specialists through mobile technologies

4 steps to start an inclusive business effort from within >>
Primary steps which can help businesses launch and build up an inclusive initiative

Tete a Tete with CEO of L’Occitane Inc >>
'Be whole-hearted in whatever you do' is the key to success, says David Philip Boynton who chose principles over paycheck when he joined L'Occitane

Member Spotlight: Dimagi on delivering tech to poor communities >>
CEO Jonathan Jackson on Dimagi's 'design under the mango tree' approach which means mobile apps are designed by frontline development workers

The top 10 misconceptions in inclusive business >>
Busting some of the myths about inclusive business

Public Eye: the UK’s Department for International Development >>
Q&A with Alistair Fernie, head of private sector department at the Department for International Development

Why a Business Call to
Action >>

Welcome! Business Call to Action and GSB launch new partnership >>



Q&A: Santander Brazil on inclusive financial services
Q&A: Japanese lifestyle brand Muji on inclusive business
Q&A: Ikea on their commitment to sourcing sustainable cotton
Q&A: Royal DSM on their commitment to inclusive business

Upcoming Events

April 9-11, 2014
Oxford, UK

Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

Get in touch if you would like to connect with us at this year's event! >>

May 20-22, 2014
New York, USA

The Intrapreneur Lab NYC

BCtA is happy to partner with Leadership Laboratories, Business Fights Poverty and Accenture Development Partnerships on the second Intrapreneur Lab programme that will take place in NYC! Learn more >>

May 29-30, 2014
New York, USA

Social Innovation Summit

BCtA is happy to support this year’s Social Innovation Summit and offer a discount for its members and friends. Use VIP Code: BCTA50 got 50% discounted registration! Learn more >>

BCtA at Davos: Linking Sustainability to Innovation

BCtA participated in the Reputation Lab at the World Economic Forum together with a team of experts from the United Nations Office at Geneva and the OECD to contribute to dialogue on the creation of the first transparent indicator on sustainability and innovation. The programme was part of research related to the publication, “If not ESG now, then when?”, which will be released as part of the Media Research Institute – Media Tenor’s Reputation Lab – to provide companies with reputation-management measurements and mapping for ESG and sustainability issues.
The launch highlighted findings from Media Tenor’s extensive database of news broadcasts and publications since 2001, focusing on the ESG sustainability agenda. According to Media Tenor’s ongoing research, there is a strong correlation between media coverage of corporate failures and consumer reaction. Increasingly, the company has found that consumers are more willing to accept 2-3% less profitability from savings and investments if they can be certain that their money is being invested in companies that uphold basic CSR standards. 
Learn more about the report >>
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