The benefits of adopting inclusive business & the B4D Pathfinder

Across SADC, there is a combination of factors that contribute to create a challenging operating environment for business and the outlook for real structural change is not bright. However, the B4D Pathfinder offers a mechanism for overcoming the problems of establishing international norms of best practice. It allows a company to deliver its CSR obligations for the benefit of communities through business knowledge and robust commercial relationships.

The potential benefits for business, governments, and the local community are summarised in Figure 3:

The benefits to business:
  • enhance and build reputation through self-regulation and third-party verification,
  • define the scope of and measure success in meeting its CSR commitments,
  • integrate sustainable development across core functions,
  • identify and prioritise pro-poor interventions in the value chain,
  • compare performance against established and defined best practice standards,
  • compare performance with other companies in the same sector,
  • report internally and publicly to a range of stakeholders on performance trends,
  • link with existing CSR schemes that it may have committed significant effort to implementing,

Figure 3: Potential benefits of B4D Pathfinder

The benefits to governments
  • offers an opportunity to drive change in a pragmatic way using a globally accepted concept,
  • provides the potential to adopt international business norms and link into the global economy,
  • gives a practical focus for positive engagement with the corporate sector,
  • increases GDP through higher employment, greater productivity and enhanced access to capital,
  • broadening tax base and increase in tax revenues,
  • builds the knowledge and skills base,
  • builds social and institutional capital, so uplifting and enhancing the cohesion of communities,
  • helps target economic and social development specifically towards those most in need,
  • reduces the welfare burden, which can free-up resources for education, health and infrastructure projects.
The benefits to the community:
  • increases employment and access to income,
  • bestows dignity and self-worth on individuals and families through sustainable livelihoods,
  • enables technology, skills and knowledge to be transferred to all levelsprovides access to new products and services that may improve health and education,
  • offers a focus for engagement with corporate neighbours on an equitable basis,
  • enables proper participation in the local and often global economy,
  • transforms people from passive subjects to empowered, pro-active, trusted, economically engaged citizens with expanded social networks and work values, so increasing social and institutional capital.

Southern Africa Trust