Certified B Corporation
Business Fights Poverty, a Certified B Corporation, began in 2005 to provide a network for businesses, organizations and other professionals. This organization believes in the principle of purposeful collaboration. It aims to unite influential businesses to add social change to the list of successes of groups across the world. Business Fights Poverty recognizes the underlying potential of uniting worldwide businesses to battle social issues such as poverty. Business Fights Poverty has implemented several influential actions during 2020. Here are four impressive examples of actions that Business Fights Poverty has taken to combat global poverty:

4 Initiatives of Business Fights Poverty During 2020

  1. Business Fights Poverty created a network of more than 28,000 businesses and organizations fighting poverty. The staff and content creators of this Certified B Corporation span across the globe. Moreover, this organization has a long list of partners with global influence. Among these partners are Walmart, Nestlé, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Visa. Business Fights Poverty also partnered with content creating organizations to expand the reach of its content. Also, this is to increase collaboration among organizations fighting for social change. This extensive network of partners allows Business Fights Poverty to collaborate with organizations that hold different business goals and different content creators, to increase awareness surrounding global poverty.
  2. Business Fights Poverty holds free online conferences with influential business leaders to educate people on collaborative impact. Easily accessible from its website, Business Fights Poverty releases a weekly calendar of live-streamed conferences and webinars. Additionally, a major perk here is that if people cannot watch these conferences in real-time, they can watch them on the website. Previous conferences include discussions with business professors from Harvard University and the University of Oxford about the relation between social inequality and poverty. The future ones include discussions with members of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. These free conferences provide an accessible way for people across the globe to educate themselves and learn from influential leaders in business, education and other Certified B Corporations.
  3. Business Fights Poverty offers opportunities for individuals to contribute to its website via content creation or discussion forums. The idea of collaboration spans further than collaboration among worldwide businesses. Business Fights Poverty offers numerous ways for any individual to collaborate. For instance, the ability to apply for freelance work and online forums of open discussion with experts in different fields. This again serves as a way for individuals to educate themselves through discussion with professionals. Additionally, it allows them to delve deeper into becoming involved with the organization. Business Fights Poverty makes its purposeful collaboration accessible through a few clicks on its website. This has contributed to its growth in global partners.
  4. Business Fights Poverty motivates contributors and partners to move towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 goals developed by the U.N. to foster a more sustainable, global future. Two of these goals include no poverty and zero hunger. Business Fights Poverty considers one of its organization challenges as advancing toward a world that reaches these goals. By advocating for this change, the organization contributes to a global plan to combat poverty and hunger. The SDGs remain a focus in the conversation and content present on Business Fights Poverty’s website.

The Outcomes

The major outcomes of Business Fights Poverty have been reflected in the businesses and corporations it collaborates with. For example, since its involvement with Business Fights Poverty, Walmart paid its full-time workers $3 above the living wage of an adult in the U.S. in 2019. Also, it has the goal of training millions of employees in career growth strategies by 2025. Since 2015, Visa has assisted over 160,000 lower-income individuals in creating accounts and becoming involved in the financial system. Moreover, Business Fights Poverty has created a network of awareness. The actions of these major corporations set a positive example for customers and smaller businesses. This example urges people to stay aware and improve their strategies to assist those battling poverty, among other personal financial struggles.

Business Fights Poverty recognizes the impact that a Certified B Corporation, large-scale businesses and general corporations can have on battling the poverty crisis. Through education, collaboration and progress towards a common goal — this organization has dedicated itself to making a social change. As the network grows from its already substantial start, businesses can find success in assisting in the fight to combat world hunger and poverty. Finally, as for individuals, the organization’s website offers many ways to get involved that are worth exploring.

Evan Coleman
Photo: Flickr

Four Ways Capitalism Has Helped Alleviate Poverty
Merriam-Webster defines capitalism as “a way of organizing an economy so that the things that are used to make and transport products are owned by individual people and companies rather than by the government.”

Today, in much of academia, capitalism is portrayed as an inherently corrupt system; the exploitative sweatshops and lack of child labor laws are constantly in the limelight.

Yet in the last 30 years, as capitalism flourished and globalization opened up its gates, 1 billion people have been taken out of poverty. Many remain unaware of and fail to account for global improvements in health, education and living standards.

  1. “Extreme” poverty has almost disappeared in most industrialized countries. Extreme poverty used to be a norm for many people throughout industrialized countries. Currently, however, severe poverty has disappeared in most industrialized countries because of free-market capitalism. Between 1990 and 2010, poverty rates fell by half in developing countries, from 43 percent to 21 percent — a reduction of almost 1 billion people. Compared to the average rate of poverty reduction throughout history, this is an impressive improvement.
  2. Third world countries are moving out of poverty. China and India have made the most progress in the pursuit to alleviate poverty after they began moving toward capitalism. Since the 1980s, these countries have abandoned central government planning, instead expanding and liberalizing trade in global markets, which improved economic conditions. China increased its per capita income 13-fold since the beginning of its economic reforms in 1978. The country pulled 680 million people out of poverty between 1981 and 2010 as well as reduced its extreme poverty rate from 84 percent in 1980 to 10 percent today. In India, income rose three-fold after the country liberalized its markets. Third world nations are experiencing an overall decrease in the rate of poverty as well. Thirty years ago, 50 percent of the people in the poorer nations of the world lived in extreme poverty. In contrast, in 2012, 21 percent of people in the poorer nations of the world lived in extreme poverty.
  3. More aid is able to reach third world countries. Since the beginning of globalization, and with more countries embracing capitalist ways, international and national aid has increased, helping boost development projects such as investments in schools, health clinics, housing and infrastructure, as well as improved access to water. Many more charitable nonprofit organizations have opened up and can now transfer and receive humanitarian aid globally through private companies more easily than ever before.
  4. Standard of living has gone up; more leisure time. Since the agricultural and industrial revolutions, individuals no longer need to spend all day doing manual labor in order to make a living. The standard of living has increased greatly. In the 18th century, being a country with a high standard of living meant having millions in dire conditions. France had the fourth highest standard of living of any country, yet 10 million, almost half the population, relied on some sort of public or private charity to survive, and 3 million citizens were full-time beggars. This poverty no longer exists in developed countries; more than half of the population has the privilege of leisure time, which can be used to further learning.

Capitalism has lessened the severity of poverty over time. Yet there is no hiding the fact that 1.2 billion people currently live in extreme poverty. Many of these capitalist problems stem from too much government regulation. However, we are continuing to gradually alleviate poverty. The report, by Oxford University’s poverty and human development initiative, predicts that “countries among the most impoverished in the world could see acute poverty eradicated within 20 years if they continue at present rates.”

Marcelo Guadiana

Photo: Flickr

Education for Syrian RefugeesA new set of academic scholarships is helping to provide post-secondary education for Syrian refugees.

Jusoor is an organization dedicated to addressing the educational needs of those affected by the civil war in Syria. To date, the organization offers over 390 scholarships and has funded 74 students. The majority of scholarships they offer are university partnerships, such as with the University of Cambridge, Oxford, and the London School of Economics.

The organization itself is comprised of Syrian expatriates who believe in the importance of offering opportunities for the youth in their native country. They hope this initiative will help support the country’s development and help it overcome its unique challenges.

According to their website, the volunteers at Jusoor “hope for a nation that embraces democracy, respects human rights and rule of law and encourages free speech and the exchange of ideas.”

Education for refugees is important not just in Syria, but around the world. According to the U.N. Refugee agency, education is a basic human right, defined in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1951 Refugee Convention.

However, of the 10 million refugees under the age of 18, less than half have access to the education they need. Often, education can provide a safe and stable environment where none else is offered, fostering healthy relationships and teaching life-saving information.

Most recently, Jusoor partnered with universities in Canada for their 100 Syrian Women program, which focuses particularly on offering scholarships to Syrian women. This gives them the opportunity to study abroad when they would not have otherwise had it. So far, out of 900 applicants, 26 women have received scholarships, and the organization hopes to go much further than that.

In an interview with The Star, Leen Al Zaibak, co-director and co-founder of Jusoor, said “we feel if we invest in women, it is a huge investment in the community. The 100 women who benefit from this opportunity are going to affect the lives of 10,000 other Syrians.”

In addition to their scholarship programs, Jusoor runs three primary and middle schools for Syrian children in Lebanon to provide further education for Syrian refugees.

Sabrina Santos

Photo: Student World Online

World Poverty Declines RapidlyOxford University’s poverty and human development initiative published a world poverty report.  As world poverty declines, the report notes that “never in history have the living conditions and prospects of so many people changed so dramatically and so fast.”  In fact, if some countries continue to improve at current rates, it is possible to eradicate acute poverty within 20 years.

The academic study measured new deprivations, such as nutrition, education, and health. By examining more than income deprivation, the study is able to convey the bigger picture.  The new methodology is entitled to the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI).  Past studies identify income as the only indicator of poverty.  This is a misrepresentation because multiple aspects constitute poverty.

The MPI measures poor health, lack of education, inadequate living standards, lack of income, disempowerment, poor quality of work, and threats from violence.  These factors provide a holistic look as world poverty declines.

Dr. Sabina Alkire and Dr. Maria Emma Santos developed the new system.   They named the system “multidimensional” because it is what people facing poverty describe.  “As poor people worldwide have said, poverty is more than money,” Alkire said.

This increased information and understanding better inform international donors and governments.  “Maybe we have been overlooking the power of the people themselves, women who are empowering each other, civil society pulling itself up,” Alkire said.  The new data could incentivize donors to provide assistance.  International and national aid contribute to declining rates.  Improvements to infrastructure, education, and healthcare help decrease poverty rates.  Trade has improved the economies of Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Sierra Leone.

Rwanda, Nepal, and Bangladesh experienced the greatest decrease in poverty rates.  It is possible that “deprivation could disappear within the lifetime of present generations.”  Close behind in the ranks of poverty reduction were Ghana, Tanzania, Cambodia, and Bolivia.

The study is supported by the United Nations’ recent development report.  The UN report stated that poverty reduction was “exceeding all expectations.”

Check out the MPI interactive world map for more details.

– Whitney M. Wyszynski

Source: The Guardian