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Keywords:

  • directly engaging international business;
  • poverty reduction;
  • impact;
  • measured

Abstract

Donors increasingly acknowledge that, without the participation of the private sector, achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is unlikely. Up until recently, priority has been given to improving the business enabling environment in developing countries, so as to remove unnecessary impediments to profit-making activity. Whilst this approach has undoubted merit it does not yet seem to be stimulating change at the pace or scale required. This paper argues that there is now a clear case for directly engaging international business in the poverty reduction agenda. It argues that such efforts will have the greatest development impact where profit-making is the driving force, and considers how the impact of such initiatives might best be measured. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.