A new study released by the U.N. Development Program this week encourages private-sector businesses to foster partnerships with the world's poor in the fight against global poverty.
"Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor" offers dozens of case studies highlighting the benefits for business owners of creating market opportunities in poorer regions.
"The power of poor people to benefit from market activity lies in their ability to participate in markets," Kemal Dervis, the agency's administrator, said in a statement. "Business models that include the poor require broad support and offers gains for all," Dervis said.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the importance of tapping into skills available in poorer regions in order to achieve the organization’s Millennium Goals of reducing global poverty.
The study provides key strategies for creating mutually beneficial business partnerships, including adapting products and services, investing in infrastructure and training, working with like-minded businesses, and engaging in governmental policy, among others.
The study also identifies a number of regions around the world with untapped market potential.