Implementing Inclusive Business Models to Accelerate SDGs in Colombia
On April 27, 2017, UNDP Colombia brought together government, donors, private sector and business associations to examine opportunities to expand inclusive business and encourage private sector to contribute to SDGs in Colombia, and present the Business Call to Action (BCtA) platform to help guide companies through this process.
The event, Implementing Inclusive Business Models to Accelerate SDGs in Colombia, was opened by Catalina Hoyos from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) with the participation of Lina Arbeláez, UNDP Colombia’s Poverty Reduction and Inequality Programme Manager, Paula Peláez, BCtA Programme Manager and Felipe Castro, Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of Public Policies and the National Planning Department (DNP).
Ms Arbeláez explained the role BCtA plays in helping companies to integrate their contribution to the SDGs into their business models.
"Most companies are aware of the SDGs and are eager to commit, but do not know how. This is where BCtA plays an important role as it helps companies define, pilot and scale responsible business models that are financially viable and at the same time benefit the base of the pyramid population; one of the many ways the private sector can contribute to Colombia's development and peace agendas,” Lina Arbelaez said at the opening of the event.
During a session entitled Leveraging Inclusive Business, panelists analyzed the potential for inclusive business in Colombia, and identified opportunities for businesses to increase their social impact. This panel was attended by the Colombian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CECODES), APC-Colombia, Reconciliation Colombia, the Colombian Association of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACOPI) and Minka-Dev and moderated by Empresas B.
A second session, Private Sector Experiences with Inclusive Businesses in Colombia presented successful examples of inclusive business models in various sectors. In this panel, moderated by Ms Peláez, companies from the beverage and food, financial and health sectors such as Fruandes, Crezcamos, Credifamilia and Sanofi, local members of BCtA, participated referring to both the various challenges they had overcome, and the opportunities created by adopting inclusive business models.
"BCtA is a leadership platform that seeks to recognize companies that are doing credible, inclusive businesses. Being a BCtA member has no cost, but has a selection process. Members benefit from recognition, tools and training in impact measurement and the generation of evidence that serves their reporting," said Ms Pelaez.
Significantly, some private sector representatives participating in the event were inspired to make concrete commitments to actively contribute to SDGs achievement by either adopting or scaling up inclusive business activities.