How business with a social purpose can deliver more sustainable development

This report makes a clear, convincing case for the important role that social enterprises, social investment and responsible business can play in driving sustainable and inclusive development supporting progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It argues that global trade, investment and business activity are our most powerful drivers of economic transformation and social change, and that we must harness business for a social purpose and mainstream social enterprise approaches in our economic and aid delivery models if we are to substantially reduce inequalities, promote local opportunities and foster global prosperity. 

This report offers a number of recommendations to the UN and G20, to donor institutions and to governments around the world on harnessing the potential for business with a social purpose to deliver our common social and environmental goals.

As Professor Muhamad Yunus and Linda Macavan MEP note the report’s foreword, ‘Aid alone cannot be our response. Global sustainability and the nature of the economy will be shaped by entrepreneurship and the terms on which we create and do business with each other. […] Putting social and environmental purposes in the driving seat of business is the only way to ensure an equitable and sustainable economy for the 21st century.'

With support from Paula Woodman, Senior Social Enterprise Adviser, British Council, and Diego Angel-Urdinola, Senior Economist, World Bank