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Leveraging Corporate Purchasing Power to Advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

September 27th, 2018 | 8:00am - 10:00am


Hosted by:

World Economic Forum 350 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor, New York, NY

The Fourth Sector Development Initiative invites you to join a working session with leading companies, industry bodies, development institutions, NGOs, and experts to discuss how companies can leverage their buying power to advance the SDGs. 

For-Benefit Enterprises and the SDGs


Many of today’s global challenges are largely downstream consequences of outmoded economic systems and business models that incentivize short-term financial gain over long-term sustainable value creation. Responding to the scale, urgency and complexity of these challenges demands that we fundamentally rethink business-as-usual. For-benefit enterprises are a promising pathway for such a transformation. 

Neither for-profit nor non-profit, for-benefit enterprises are hybrid organizations whose primary purpose is delivering social and environmental benefit, alongside commercial gains. For-benefits constitute a fourth sector of the economy which has been emerging at the intersection of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors for decades. Scaling this sector by trillions is critical to achieving the 2030 Agenda.


Session Focus


As a streamlined strategy for contributing to the SDGs, global companies can leverage their buying power to create demand for for-benefits in their value chains by instituting a procurement preference for them. This will incentivize new for-benefit entrants and conversions of existing players, thus improving social and environmental outcomes across the board, and accelerating impact across all the SDGs.

This action-oriented working session will bring together leading businesses, industry bodies, development institutions, NGOs, and experts to examine how a for-benefit procurement preference not only builds on and strengthens initiatives in supplier diversity and sustainable sourcing (certifications, human rights standards, etc.), but can also go beyond by supporting an enabling environment for for-benefits along the supply chain. Key areas of discussion:

  • Procurement systems: what needs to change to advance the SDGs?

  • What sectors / industries are ripe for procurement practice reforms that incentivize for-benefits?

  • Unpacking the business case

  • How can governments, investors and other actors support for-benefit procurement practices? 

  • Pathways for action and collaboration 


About the Fourth Sector Development Initiative


The Fourth Sector Development Initiative (FSDI) is a multistakeholder effort of public, private, and philanthropic institutions committed to accelerating sustainable, inclusive development by catalyzing trillions of dollars of fourth sector growth globally by 2030. FSDI fosters collective action globally to enhance knowledge and raise awareness about the fourth sector, to develop more enabling policy and regulatory environments for the fourth sector, to promote new business and investment models that are aligned with for-benefit enterprises, to increase educational and training opportunities for fourth sector practitioners and leaders, to mobilize resources in support of initiatives that strengthen the fourth sector’s ecosystem, and to develop local and regional hubs to foster collaboration and accelerate fourth sector development in communities.

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