A Business Case for Fighting Poverty

Publication date

01 May 2009

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Action on poverty can benefit business performance, as well as building a better world in which to operate. This is the second paper in Oxfam's Briefings for Business; series, which aims to develop the debate on the role of the private sector in poverty reduction by offering ideas and insights into topical poverty issues and what they mean for business. Businesses constantly interact with people living in poverty as workers, producers, and consumers. Businesses can influence public policies, and their taxes help to fund essential public services. Greater prosperity means a healthier, wealthier, and more able population that will provide the customers, suppliers, and employees that companies need for sustainable growth. Companies often underestimate their impact on people living in poverty. This paper outlines how developing a deeper understanding of the issues benefits businesses themselves and helps them to make a bigger contribution to reducing poverty. This paper also outlines the ways in which businesses can engage with Oxfam.