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Building Better: 
Social and economic recovery through fourth sector development

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- About 4SG


The Fourth Sector Group (4SG) is a global multi-stakeholder platform for collective leadership and action aimed at accelerating the development of a supportive ecosystem for the fourth sector.

Through a variety of collaborative initiatives, 4SG brings together businesses, civil society, governments, multilaterals, philanthropists, academia, ecosystem builders, and industry and sector leaders to
create a conducive environment for for-benefit organizations to thrive.

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- Why


Many of the social, environmental, and economic challenges we face today are downstream consequences of outmoded economic systems and organizational models whose roots date back to the industrial age. The scale, urgency, and complexity of these challenges demand a fundamental upgrade to business-as-usual.


The growing sector of for-benefit enterprises offers an opportunity to solve many of these challenges, while advancing inclusive and sustainable growth.


Combining attributes of traditional for-profit businesses and NGOs, for-benefit enterprises are hybrid business structures whose primary purpose is delivering social and environmental benefit. They constitute a fourth sector of the economy which has been growing at the intersection of the traditional private, public, and nonprofit sectors for decades.

"A surge of 'for-benefit' companies at the intersection of the traditional private, public and non-profit sectors will be critical in delivering on the SDGs by 2030.”

- The World Economic Forum

"We need leadership across multiple disciplines to develop new structures that support for-benefit entrepreneurs and investors who are leveraging business to tackle social and environmental problems."
- Sir Richard Branson,

Founder, Virgin Group


COVID-19 Fourth Sector Response

Building Better: Social and economic recovery through fourth sector development

COVID-19 Fourth Sector Response is a collaborative, multi-stakeholder effort to rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis by harnessing the fourth sector of the economy to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable future.

Contributes to:

Enhancing Knowledge, Educating & Training, Advancing Policy, Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Mobilizing Resources


Fourth Sector Development Initiative

Global Future Council on International Governance, Public-Private Cooperation and Sustainable Development

The Fourth Sector Development Initiative (FSDI) is a collaboration of public, private, and philanthropic institutions committed to accelerating sustainable, inclusive development by catalysing trillions of dollars of fourth sector growth globally by 2030.

Contributes to:

Enhancing Knowledge, Advancing Policy, Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Educating & Training, Mobilizing Resources


Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative (FSMI)

The Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative is a global, multi-stakeholder collaborative effort to shed light on the emerging fourth sector of the economy.

Led by a 180+ member Advisory Council of diverse experts, FSMI is developing a rigorous taxonomy of for-benefit organizations and conducting a global census of these entities and their supportive ecosystems.

Contributes to:

Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Advancing Policy, Enhancing Knowledge


The Fourth Sector in Ibero-America Project

Fostering social & sustainable economy in Ibero-America

The Fourth Sector in Ibero-America Project is a multi-stakeholder initiative led by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that seeks to facilitate the creation of a more prosperous, socially fair and environmentally sustainable economy in the 22 countries of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula, by advancing the development of a new ecosystem for benefit-driven enterprises.

Contributes to:

Advancing Policy, Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Enhancing Knowledge


B4B Coalition

The Buy For-Benefit Coalition, which aims to leverage the trillion spent in procurement dollars to transform global value chains and advance an economy that benefits all stakeholders, launched at the World Economic Forum 2020 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.​

The rules for business are changing rapidly. Leading any organization today is more complex and uncertain than ever. Corporate managers are increasingly asked to do more than deliver financial results or quality goods and services; they are being tasked with tackling massive environmental and societal challenges, operationalizing purpose, and meeting the demands of multiple stakeholders, while navigating an environment of rapid change.

Contributes to:

Enhancing Knowledge, Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Educating & Training, Mobilizing Resources, Advancing Policy


Fourth Sector 2030

FS 2030 aims to accelerate the development of an enabling ecosystem for purpose-driven, for-benefit businesses — the emerging fourth sector of the economy.

In collaboration with a range of partners, and with support from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), we are engaging stakeholders from the private sector, governments, inter-governmental organizations, communities, academia, civil society, philanthropy, and the fourth sector to establish a growing reservoir of knowledge, tools, and approaches for releasing the potential of for-benefit enterprise to deliver solutions across the entire range of SDGs.

Contributes to:

Educating & Training, Enhancing Knowledge, Advancing Policy, Connecting Stakeholders, Raising Awareness

Highlighted Initiatives on the 4SG Platform: 

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