08 april 2006
Poverty-alliance of Dutch SNV and World Business Council
SNV is a Netherlands-based ngo, providing advisory services to some 1800 local organisations in 32 developing countries to support their fight against poverty. Members of the WBCSD are some 180 multinational companies. The WBCSD has national branches in 55 countries.
SNV and WBCSD will form a platform for progressive companies to identify business opportunities with low-income communities. SNV-director Dirk van Elsen, who has previously been working for Shell, the World Bank and ABN AMRO: "We hope this partnership will lead to tangible entrepreneurial activities in developing countries. We will start with a pilot in two Latin American countries, that yet have to be chosen. SNV will appoint liaison officers in those countries, who will explore the chances. At the WBCSD head quarters in Geneva, an international business broker will investigate the possibilities to link up partners. A period of two years should be enough to find out of this initiative is viable, and worth to be expanded to other continents."
The SNV-director is eager for entrepreneurial partnerships. "Small producers in developing countries have a large potential, but do not easily find their way into the international market. Partly this is due to lack of knowledge, partly to distrust towards multinational companies. SNV wants to build bridges, in order to have both parties cooperate and overcome this distrust by creating mutual trust. Suppose you can create cooperatives of small bamboo producers in a country like Ecuador, and contact them with furniture producers who are suppliers for IKEA. Wouldn't that be a great perspective! I'm just making up this example, but it makes me very enthusiastic. You can substitute bamboo for coffee, tea, fruits, vegetables. It depends on the local situation. We don't want to be paternalistic about this. Let the partnerships originate from the local dynamics."
P+ Webtip: SNV World