Working with business
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Markets should work for poor people not against them
The world’s poor come into contact with markets and companies as producers, workers, entrepreneurs or consumers on a daily basis. However, they are often exploited, or unable to participate fully in the opportunities that could enable them to work their way out of poverty.
That’s why we’re working with private sector companies to co-create opportunities for poor and marginalised people to have better access to goods, services and livelihoods – and on fairer terms.
The private sector has a critical role to play in reducing poverty
The private sector plays an essential role in job creation, technological innovation, the provision of goods and services and overall economic development and growth.
We engage with companies to make sure that poor and marginalised people are no longer excluded from the opportunities provided by business.
Our innovative partnerships with private sector companies also mean that we are putting our combined expertise behind large-scale poverty-fighting projects to improve the lives of millions of people around the world.
What CARE does
We work with the private sector to improve the impact of their activities on poverty, ensure financial inclusion, and challenge market systems to be more inclusive so that real opportunities are created for poor people.
We particularly work to address the economic exclusion and marginalisation of women and their communities and support their ability to fully participate in and benefit from markets, jobs and livelihoods.
- Value chain development
Today’s markets are dominated by large-scale production networks – or ‘value chains’ – consisting of all the activities and stages, from production to marketing to distribution, that are required to bring a product to the consumer.
However, those at the production end of these value chains – such as smallholder farmers and in particular women – do not get a fair share of the ‘value’ that is added before a product is sold.
That’s why we work to make value chains more inclusive and pro-poor by empowering producers, workers and entrepreneurs, as well as their organisations and their communities, to get their share of the ‘value’ from ‘value chains’.
We partner with private and public stakeholders along and around the value chain to enhance its effectiveness and sustainability with specific emphasis on boosting the role of women in value chains – such as our work with over 50,000 small-scale dairy farmers in Bangladesh, most of them women, who we helped to increase milk production from their cows through veterinary support and agricultural inputs, and to combine in co-operatives to be able to sell their milk to Bangladesh’s largest dairy.
- Financial inclusion
We develop new partnerships with the private sector and new models (such as mobile banking) to deepen financial inclusion – for example, by supporting village savings and loan groups to keep their savings safe and access the financial services that they need to grow their businesses.
Through our Access Africa programme, we advocate for recognition of financial inclusion as a means to improve women’s livelihoods. We engage with the private sector, regulators, governments, central banks, technology providers and other actors at both global and local levels, to promote our financial inclusion model and encourage others to recognise it and implement it responsibly.
- Workers’ empowerment
Workers make up a substantial percentage of the global poor, but often suffer from poor conditions of work which violate their basic human rights. Women in particular are more likely to be excluded from obtaining decent work on fair terms.
We support programming that builds the knowledge and capacity of workers in order to improve their ability to access decent work and advocate for their rights.
We develop models for inclusive and gender-equal workplaces and partner with the private sector to implement them.
We advocate for policies and practices in the public and private sector that advance decent work standards.