Today, October 17, 2011, is the UN’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year’s theme is "From Poverty to Sustainability: People at the Centre of Inclusive Development."
Poverty is a challenge of enormous scale and complexity, and IFC has spent decades thinking about the best way to harness the power of the private sector to alleviate it. Our approach is to be selective—intervening wherever we think we can make the greatest difference, and wherever we think we can introduce innovations that open up markets and strengthen industries with the greatest capacity to serve neglected populations.
IFC recognizes that it’s possible in many instances to achieve both broad-based growth and inclusiveness. Our strategy emphasizes that approach. With investment and advice, we look to support inclusive businesses—firms that provide goods, services, and jobs to people at the base of the economic pyramid.
We have launched a dedicated Inclusive Business Group to create the tools, resources, and events that will help investment and advisory staff develop new ways to support our clients. About 150 IFC clients now use inclusive business models to provide direct benefits to the underserved population at the base of the economic pyramid, creating high development impact in financially sustainable and scalable ways.
A new IFC report, Accelerating Inclusive Business Opportunities, underscores our commitment to creating opportunity at the base of the economic pyramid. The report identifies seven inclusive business models that are sustainable, scalable, and directly benefit the world’s poorest people while generating strong financial returns.
As we strengthen our focus on inclusive growth, we are also redoubling our effort to measure the impact of our projects on poverty alleviation and inclusion—so we can use that information to drive IFC’s strategy.
To learn more about how IFC creates opportunity, visit our Annual Report website.