Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact.
The Business Call to Action is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat — in collaboration with leading global institutions, such as the United Nations Global Compact, Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, and the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation.
Worldwide, 108 companies have responded to the BCtA by making commitments to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions through commercially-viable business ventures that engage low-income people as consumers, producers, suppliers, and distributors of goods and services. Participating companies benefit from the BCtA’s ability to provide:
- A global leadership platform and opportunities to share expertise, knowledge, and best practices for market-based approaches to development;
- Initiative development advice and assistance; and
- Linkages with companies, donors, and other key stakeholders.
BCtA member initiatives include pledges to provide access to financial services for more than 59 million people, promote improved health outcomes for 63 million people, and enhance access to energy for 90 million low-income households.