Enterprising Solutions: The Role of the Private Sector in Eradicating Global Poverty Policy Briefs from the 2013 Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty

INTRODUCTION

What role, if any, should businesses and the private sector play in the fight to end global poverty?

With more than a billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide, ending poverty will require robust and broad-based economic growth across the developing world, sufficient to generate decent jobs for a global labor force that is expected to expand by half a billion people by 2030. Affordable solutions must be found to meet people’s demand for food, quality education, housing, healthcare and other basic needs. Major new investments will be required to plug the financial gaps associated with global development challenges, such as the estimated $1 trillion to $2.5 trillion annual shortfall in financing for climate change mitigation. On all these fronts, the private sector, from small- and medium-sized enterprises to major global corporations, must play a critical and expanded role. 

The following briefs examine how the contribution of the private sector can be enhanced in the push to end poverty over the next generation, as well as how government can work more effectively with the private sector to leverage its investments. These policy briefs were commissioned for the 10th annual Brookings Blum Roundtable on Global Poverty, held in Aspen, Colorado from August 4-6, 2013. The roundtable brought together high-level government officials, academics, development practitioners, and leaders from business, foundations, civil society, and international organizations to discuss “The Private Sector in the New Global Development Agenda” and find new ways to alleviate poverty through cross-sector collaboration.