Economic Empowerment

According to the World Resource Institute (WRI), the world has about 4 billion people living at the BoP. These people may not have access to markets to sell the products they produce, buy goods and services that they need or appropriate livelihoods that match their skills or pay enough for them to make a meaningful living. In Bangladesh, according to the BoP criteria, more than 100 million people belong to the group. Even though the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have shown impressive progress, without the means of sustainable development and inclusive growth, the world may have 600 million people without access to safe water, 1 billion people earning less than US$1.25 a day and many more urgent challenges by 2015 according to the MDGs Progress Report 2012. Non-inclusion of this 'forgotten' mass at the BoP not only makes poverty alleviation difficult but also deprives businesses of sustainable sourcing in an environment of fast depleting natural resources, low cost labor, and an untapped market that according to WRI, holds unmet needs of US$ 5 trillion, globally.

CARE Bangladesh has a long all encompassing presence in Bangladesh exceeding six decades starting from the grassroots up to policy interventions. CARE Bangladesh maintains its focus on 3 distinct marginalized and vulnerable groups that are often subject to unequal power relations. CARE Bangladesh's portfolio of over thirty projects addresses the problems of all four groups with support from a myriad of conventional donors.

The Private Sector Engagement (PSE) strategy of CARE Bangladesh however heightens the role of the private sector in fostering inclusive growth by 'inclusion' of all the four impact groups into relevant business processes. We at PSE recognize the importance of 'doing business with the BoP' to have sustained impacts on the lives of the poor and the marginalized and work on building pro-poor value chains that engage the BoP as producers, workers and consumers. Through PSE, we have formed effective partnerships with nearly twenty five private sector organizations and during FY11 - 14 managed a portfolio of about US$ 12 million touching about 150,000 lives.

PSE's approach of building inclusive business for inclusive growth works with cutting edge innovation building on a model that focuses on production: rural sourcing and aggregation by including poor agricultural producers or farmers in business value chains; income: worker empowerment by building the productivity and rights awareness of poor, semiskilled workers mainly in the Ready Made Garments (RMG) industry besides others; and consumption: marketing and distribution of products and services needed by the BoP. Involvement of the private sector is initially through 'social investment' which are one time philanthropic projects but such partnerships often evolve into engagements that are embedded into 'core business' and that is the goal we seek to attain. In order to enable the BoP's participation into high value business value chains, our projects also work to reduce bottlenecks such as access to finance, information and technology and helps micro, small and medium (MSMEs) grow. The work is continually supported with research and advocacy that has benefitted from affiliations with Said Business School of Oxford University, Ross Business School of University of Michigan and Harvard Business School.

Publication Date Publication Title Details
Jun 15, 2016 A Business Case for Digital Fat Testing Machine View Details
Jun 15, 2016 INNOVATION BRIEF: SDVC II Marketing series 2016 View Details
Jun 15, 2016 The Building of an Agro-Input Microfranchise Network in Rural Bangladesh: INNOVATION BRIEF, KRISHI UTSHO View Details
Jun 15, 2016 Emp owering women through strengthened dairy value chains: Measuring Impact View Details
Jun 15, 2016 CARE Market Engagement Innovation Brief View Details
Aug 20, 2015 Linking Poverty Reduction and Green Growth through SCP: View Details
Aug 7, 2014 Project Brief-Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production of JUTE Diversified Products View Details
Aug 7, 2014 Living Blue, Best of Bangladesh, Nijera Cottage and Village Industries, Pvt. Ltd. A Social Enterprise View Details
Jul 14, 2014 JITA Bangladesh Empowering women; creating opportunities. View Details
May 22, 2014 Rugs to Riches – A CARE business case on the rural sourcing of rugs View Details
May 14, 2014 Krishi Uthsho: The Building of an Agro-Input Microfranchise Network in Rural Bangladesh View Details
Dec 26, 2013 Can dairy value chain projects change gender norms in rural Bangladesh? Impacts on assets, gender norms, and time use View Details
Jul 11, 2013 Doing Business with Low-Income People: Inclusive Business for Sustainable Development in Bangladesh View Details
Jul 4, 2013 What the cows told us: The business case for empowering women producers View Details
Aug 7, 2012 From Dependency to Emancipation; Building Solidarity Through Collective Action View Details
Aug 1, 2012 The Business Case for Engaging with Poor Farmers in Bangladesh’s Dairy Sector View Details
Jan 19, 2010 Pro-poor Analysis Of The Dairy Value Chain View Details
Jan 19, 2010 Policy Barriers for Dairy Value Chain Development in Bangladesh with a Focus on the North West Region View Details
Jan 17, 2010 Social and Economic Transformation of The Ultra-poor (SETU) project details View Details
Jan 17, 2010 Social and Economic Transformation of The Ultra-poor (SETU) Governance Framework View Details
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