Business and Development: Challenges and Opportunities in a Rapidly Changing World

What are the links
between business and development? And what is the business role and
opportunity in addressing sustainability challenges of developing
countries and emerging economies?

These questions are addressed in a report launched by the World
Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

The report draws on a decade of WBCSD thought
leadership and practical experience in promoting business solutions
to sustainability issues in the developing world.

The WBCSD first coined the term “Inclusive Business” to describe
profitable business models that reduce poverty and generate
sustainable livelihoods.

The scope of WBCSD’s work was then broadened towards addressing
the business role in improving the living standards of the growing
and increasingly affluent populations of the developing world in a
sustainable way.

As the report highlights, enhancing energy and resource
efficiency, and finding new ways of sustainably meeting the rising
demand for food, healthcare, shelter, energy, mobility, water,
sanitation and communication are defining challenges.


Business is a key source of sustainable solutions for a
transition to a more inclusive, low-carbon and resource efficient
economy. The corresponding investments in infrastructure and
technology by both governments and private entities and the
long-term demand for related products and services represent a huge
growth opportunity for business.

The WBCSD firmly believes that development will not be
sustainable nor that poverty can be alleviated without business
engagement. However, good governance, economic incentives and
appropriate and robust legal and institutional framework conditions
are essential for business to play a meaningful role.

As WBCSD President Björn Stigson stated, “we trust that this
report will encourage business leaders to further strengthen their
contribution to development by creating innovative products,
services and business models. We also hope it will stimulate
partners in government and civil society to work with business in
improving living standards in developing countries while preserving
our ecosystems.”

Click through the presentation below outlining the report’s
highlights, and href=””
target=”_blank”>download the report (4 MB).


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