Expand understanding of for-benefits and their ecosystem, and monitor their development.

Enhance Knowledge

Building a robust knowledge base for the sector is an essential. A tremendous amount of information must be developed, organized, and disseminated to clarify what for-benefit enterprises are – from how they operate to how they are governed. Leadership and governance theory must be developed that is consistent with the for-benefit model.


It is necessary to identify the barriers for-benefits face, the social and economic impacts they make, and the ways in which they promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the need to understand how for-benefits can be employed in specific industries and issue areas, such as healthcare, utilities, energy, education, and banking is key to successful implementation.


Knowledge empowers all of the actors in the fourth sector to understand how to apply the for-benefit model in their unique areas, resulting in more effective decisions and more impact within the ecosystem.

Enhance Knowledge

Advance Policy

Raise Awareness

Connect Stakeholders

Educate & Train

Mobilize Resources


Initiatives Enhancing Knowledge on the 4SG Platform: 

  • COVID-19 Fourth Sector Response

    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.

    Building Better: Social and economic recovery through fourth sector development

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

    Contributes to:

  • The Fourth Sector in Ibero-America Project

    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.

    Fostering social & sustainable economy in Ibero-America

    Advancing Policy, Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector Development Initiative

    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.

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

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

    Contributes to:

  • B4B Coalition

    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.

    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.​

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

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative (FSMI)

    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.

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

    Raising Awareness, Connecting Stakeholders, Advancing Policy, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector 2030

    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.

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

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

    Contributes to:

  • CARE Enterprises Growth Fund

    CARE Enterprises Announces Plans to Deploy $30 Million through Investment Structures and Collaboration with World Economic Forum’s Fourth Sector Development Initiative

    A $30 million, 10-year Growth Fund focused on scaling for-benefit enterprises in frontier markets, being structured by CARE Enterprises.

    Mobilizing Resources, Connecting Stakeholders, Raising Awareness, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector Data Commons

    To meet the global demand for better data and understanding about for-benefit organizations, the goal of the Fourth Sector Data Commons is to create a comprehensive, worldwide source of information on the scale, scope and performance of for-benefit organizations, their supporting ecosystem, and other closely aligned organizations. It will be an open, freely accessible, participatory, cloud-based platform that enables users to pool and access existing sources of relevant data; gather, update, expand, and deepen data on ongoing basis; and perform business, impact, and policy analysis and research.

    A component of the Fourth Sector Mapping Initiative, the Data Commons will be developed and stewarded for the benefit of public agencies, practitioners, researchers, consumers, economic developers and other members of the fourth sector community.

    An open, freely accessible, interactive online database of for-benefit organizations and fourth sector support organizations.

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

    Contributes to:

  • OXFAM - Future of Business Initiative

    Oxfam's Future of Business Initiative advances a portfolio of projects supporting for-benefit enterprises—businesses that prioritize social aims and put the interests of workers, farmers, communities and consumers alongside those of investors. Oxfam will help for-benefit businesses to access finance, work with global companies on how they can include such businesses in their supply chains, and investigate how for-benefit businesses can contribute towards tackling global inequality.

    Promoting equitable businesses and fourth sector development

    Raising Awareness, Mobilizing Resources, Connecting Stakeholders, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector Policy Initiative

    A global, multi-stakeholder collaboration to develop and promulgate a comprehensive fourth sector policy framework, including model laws that could be adopted at the national, state and local levels around the world. To inform the work, the Fourth Sector Policy Initiative is undertaking a research effort in collaboration with DLA Piper and other partners to examine recent legal and regulatory reforms which have been adopted around the world to recognize and support for-benefit organizations.

    A comprehensive fourth sector policy framework

    Advancing Policy, Raising Awareness, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

  • Fourth Sector Taxonomy Framework

    The Fourth Sector Taxonomy Framework serves as the first step toward creating a classification system of for-benefit organizations, and it provides guidance to businesses, investors, policymakers, academics, and others interested in understanding entities that make up the emerging fourth sector of the economy and its supportive ecosystem. The elements of the Taxonomy Framework are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather to describe the various attributes of such organizations.

    A global, multi-stakeholder collaborative effort to shed light on the emerging fourth sector of the economy.

    Advancing Policy, Educating & Training, Enhancing Knowledge

    Contributes to:

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