Investment required to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries is estimated at $3.9 trillion per year over the timespan set for the goals (2015-2030); indicating a shortfall of $2.5 trillion at current levels. The magnitude of this gap highlights the critical need for increased private sector involvement in achieving the SDGs.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has launched Business Schools for Impact to address a key component to unlocking finance for development and shifting corporate strategies. By creating awareness, delivering educational resources to drive business schools to action, it aims to equip future business leaders with the necessary skills to impact the SDGs.
The project has developed a set of teaching tools focused on the development of business models that incorporate positive social impact. Its key elements are:
FACT: Only 0.4% of case studies that are taught in business schools are situated in least developed countries
BSI Impact: Nine least developed countries are represented in BSI's 55+ case studies
FACT: 88% of students say learning about social impact in business is a priority; increasing number felt schools could do better
BSI Impact: >45 Open courses for schools and students that is impact-orientated
FACT: As the global economy looks to developing countries for future growth, professionals, savvy in alternative models, are needed
BSI Impact: Sourced >35 internship opportunities providing students real-world business experience in countries worldwide
FACT: Advancing the sustainable development goals will have significant resource implications in the developing world
BSI Impact: Courses, cases and internships cover broad range of SDG sectors, including education, water, health, women entrepreneurship, agriculture, micro-finance
You can read the feedback from the programme launch here.
"As our corporate partners expand globally into markets that are even further removed from the management culture from their home markets, they tell us they are looking for young people with the enthusiasm and drive to set up new businesses, with the right mindset to overcome local start-up problems, and the understanding of what it takes to make a positive impact on the lives of people."
"It is essential to engage current and future business leaders in the fight against poverty. This work is rapidly moving from an exercise in marketing and public relations to core business for organizations. Business schools need to both respond to these developments and shape them."
"The most valuable aspect of the program was the chance to set up a working financial and accounting system, inventory system, petty cash system and to streamline the whole Finance department such that Greenchar was now able to generate financial reports on a real time basis.
"What I found valuable about this programme is that from the start one gets an opportunity to make an impact. My master’s course provides different theoretical tools for us to be motivated to do more than just the basics of office work, and this internship provided the practical tools to do so."