In the framework of its collaboration in Ecuador, the Alliance between the WBCSD and the Netherlands Development Organization SNV has successfully advocated for the concept of "inclusive business", i.e., sustainable business opportunities that are good business and benefit low-income communities, in President Correa's new social development agenda.
The Alliance's engagement of the new government of Rafael Correa (elected in late 2006 and President since mid-January 2007) has created an opportunity to integrate inclusive business as a core pillar of the new government's efforts to address socio-economic challenges.
Following several consultations with the Alliance on the vision and a presentation on their work program in Ecuador, President Correa has publicly declared his willingness to make the concept of economic inclusion a part of the social development agenda for 2007, with a view to overcoming the country's high level of inequality and poverty.
The plan incorporates:
- economic inclusion, which links social needs to the creation of jobs and the improvement of income as mechanisms to reduce poverty. In this context, the government will most notably promote inclusive business opportunities in the agricultural sector, such as the ones pursued by the Alliance in the cocoa sector (see briefing note below), via credit lines, as well as financing for technical assistance and infrastructure measures.
- building capacity to provide to basic and good quality services in the domains of education, health, and housing
Overall, the government's declared aim is to create some 250'000 new jobs over the next four years.
Pursuit of inclusive business opportunities by the Alliance in Ecuador
In Ecuador, the Alliance is working through the Council's Regional Network partner CEMDES and the SNV country office to move the inclusive business ideas identified by local and multinational companies towards investment cases (as depicted in the project steering process below).
One concrete business opportunity being pursued concerns the cocoa sector, which employs 120'000 producers in the country.
The Alliance is working with all actors from the cocoa farmers to the purchaser of the commodity, with the ultimate aim to provide a win-win for all parties involved.
This will be achieved by means of technical assistance, access to new irrigation technology, loans to small producers, and agricultural insurance.
- Analysis of Ecuador's business framework and advocacy priorities for the WBCSD-SNV Alliance
- Overview on Latin America's socio-economic and political framework
- News stories highlighting the topic of inclusive business (“negocios inclusivos”) in the Ecuadorian government's strategy:
- El gobierno y la empresa privada apoyan al agro ecuatoriano
Ministerio de Coordinación de Desarrollo Social, 28 August 2007
- Gobierno presenta plan que busca combatir el hambre, la pobreza y exclusión
Univisión, 19 April 2007
- Gobierno prevé disminuir el desempleo
El Diario, 21 April 2007
- El Gobierno de Ecuador aspira a crear al menos 300.000 nuevos puestos de trabajo en cuatro años
RTU, Canal de Noticias del Ecuador