Transforming Business operates on a network model.
It cooperates as much as possible with other organizations working in related fields. This section of the website contains links to some such organizations and initiatives.
A growing number of organizations seek to promote development by bringing donors together with the most effective projects for reducing poverty through enterprise. Donations are treated as investments and the focus is on productive enterprise that delivers new wealth, jobs and opportunities for the world's poor.
Many different terms are used to describe this new departure in the not-for-profit world, including performance philanthropy, social venture capital, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship, venture philanthropy and philanthrocapitalism.
Organizations operating on this mode include:
Five Talents (UK)
Five Talents (US)
The Integra Venture
Transformational Business Network
A recent article in Fortune magazine profiling a number of leading venture philanthropists can be found here.
Center for Global Prosperity
The Center for Global Prosperity provides a platform - through conferences, discussions, publications, and media appearances - to highlight the central role of the private sector, both for-profit and not-for-profit, in the creation of economic growth and prosperity around the world. The centre's core product is the annual Index of Global Philanthropy, which details the sources (and magnitude) of US private international giving and seeks to demonstrate that the most effective philanthropic bridge between industrialized countries and developing nations is built on private philanthropy, volunteerism, and public-private partnerships.
The Independent Institute
The Independent Institute, a politically independent scholarly think tank, has four centres that are of particular relevance to enterprise solutions to poverty:
Lighting Africa is an initiative sponsored by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation but involves local lighting suppliers and service providers. Its aim is to help bring light to 250 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa who have no access to electricity. The undertaking will use high-tech light sources powered by renewable energy. To the left is a night time satellite image produced by NASA which shows the marked difference in electricity access in Africa compared to richer parts of the world.
Although most regions of the world experience better standards of living, health care, and greater economic opportunity, Africans continue to face famine, wide-spread disease, high levels of political corruption, and conflict. Isolated examples of rapid economic growth and strong institutions do exist in Africa but the vast amount of foreign aid given to the continent has done little to improve the lives of ordinary Africans. Enterprise Africa! is a research project focusing on enterprise-based solutions to poverty in Africa in the belief that such Africans hold the key to the alleviation of poverty.
Development and Enterprise in South Africa
The Centre for Development and Enterprise is an independent policy research and advocacy organisation and one of South Africa's leading development think tanks. It has a special focus on the role of business in economic development.
Spin-offs from the Africa Commission
The publication in 2005 of Our Common Interest, the report of the Commission for Africa, chaired by Tony Blair, generated significant momentum around poverty alleviation in Africa. Some of this momemtum is expressed in the formation by multinational corporations of a new business coalition Business Action for Africa, the aim of which is to showcase core business practice that is effective in tackling poverty.
Another spin-off is the formation of a consortium of development education organisations in the UK that has created the Learning Africa website as a resource to help teachers and pupils explore the issues raised by the Commission's findings.
Global Economy and Development Center
This centre at the Brookings Institution seeks to advance research, dialogue, and innovative solutions to address the challenges of global poverty. Its aim is to provide thought leadership on how poverty can best be overcome and to identify the drivers shaping the global economy. Reflecting the fact that contemporary globalization is a many-sided phenomenon, the Global Economy and Development Center draws on the creative thinking of scholars from a range of disciplines. The Brookings' Institution has a worldwide reputation for high quality, independent policy research.
The Aspen Institute
Fostering enlightened leadership, the appreciation of timeless ideas and values, and open-minded dialogue on contemporary issues are core objectives of the Aspen Institute. Through seminars, policy programs, conferences, and leadership development initiatives, the Institute and its international partners seek to promote the pursuit of common ground and deeper understanding in a non-partisan and non-ideological setting.
The Ethical Globalization Initiative
This is a project led by former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson. The Ethical Globalization Initiative brings key stakeholders together in new alliances to integrate concepts of human rights, gender sensitivity, and enhanced accountability into efforts to address global challenges and governance shortcomings.
The Council for Ethical Leadership seeks to generate and facilitate careful discussion of controversial issues of business ethics. A recent edition of its newsletter, Ethical Leadership carries a short piece by Don Elijah Eckhart on 'Ten Tenets of Truthfulness', available here.
The Center for Moral Courage and the Center for Corporate Ethics are both divisions of the US-based Institute for Global Ethics (IGE), which seeks to serve the ethical culture needs of contemporary corporations around the world. The UK division of the IGE has a website here.
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was established by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman to foster 'a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities.' In pursuit of this vision, the Foundation focuses its grant making and operations on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving education. With twelve years of in-depth experience in the field, the Foundation is highly regarded by business and educational leaders around the world for its expertise and guidance in the field of entrepreneurship.
An MBA with a difference
The lecturers on the Acton MBA in Entrepreneurship are practicing entrepreneurs who aim to teach their students how to live a life of meaning as well as how to be commercially successful. They want to produce principled entrepreneurs who will use their skills to change the world. For a short article based on an interview with Jeff Sandefer, the entrepreneur who founded the course, click here. For more information on the Acton MBA, click here.
Peace through commerce
The International Business Council seeks to promote peace through commerce. It has a student equivalent, based at the University Notre Dame – here.
How free are the economies of particular countries? Two organizations that produce data on this are the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute.
Entrepreneur magazine and the Women President's Organization have teamed up to develop a listing of the US's fifty fastest-growing companies led by women. The 2007 list is topped by Salo, a Minneapolis-based staffing firm for senior accountants and finance personnel. Salo opened shop in 2002 with $100,000 as an initial investment. Today, the firm has more than $32 million in annual sales. For profiles of the top fifty companies, click here.
Spirituality in business
One aspect of the research agenda of Transforming Business is the role of spiritual values in enterprise, especially enterprise that has a positive impact on poverty. While for most of humanity, spirituality is religiously rooted, increasing numbers of people, particularly in the West, are developing an interest in secular or 'religiously neutral' spirituality and are seeking to express it in their workplaces.
There is a growing number of initiatives that seek to respond to this demand. Here are just a few of them:
International Centre for Spirit at Work (based in USA)
The Spiritual Enterprise Institute (based in USA)
Centre for Spirituality and the Workplace (based in Canada)
Foundation for Workplace Spirituality (based in the UK)
The Quality of Life Company (based in South Africa)
Spirituality in business initiatives that are religiously rooted include:
Faith in Business (based in the UK)
Christian Association of Business Executives (based in the UK)
Trinity Forum (international)
Jewish Association for Business Ethics (based in the UK)
Acton Institute (based in the USA)
Center for Integrity in Business (based in the USA)
The number of blogs is growing exponentially. Here are some of the many that are relevant to enterprise solutions to poverty:
Private Sector Development (a World Bank blog that is focused on 'a market approach to development thinking)
World Economic Forum
Business Action for Africa
One of the fastest growing social network sites in the field of enterprise solutions to poverty is Business Fights Poverty. Feel free to meet up with Peter Heslam there.