Approximately 45% of the world's population lives in rural areas in developing countries, and this includes more than 70% of the world’s poor. This population is systematically disadvantaged by a lack of access to basic needs and economic enablers, and many aspire to migrate to cities where they and their families can have better access to more opportunities. How can companies with critical rural operations or supply chains make these rural areas attractive to live, work and invest in?
Improving rural livelihoods depends on a set of interconnected development issues. Current efforts are fragmented across NGOs, governments, international organizations, business and community organizations. Businesses attempting to tackle these challenges increasingly find themselves stretched far beyond their scope and core competencies.
Making rural areas attractive places to live, work and invest in is an essential part of strengthening supply chains, securing skilled labor, providing a more stable and efficient business operating environment, and accessing a potential market of 3.1 billion rural inhabitants in developing countries.
Our Rural Livelihoods Initiative brings together companies to establish cross-industry collaboration in rural areas. Bringing the core strengths of various value chains together, and linking them to companies’ growth strategies, has the potential to support more viable, sustainable and scalable solutions to the business and development challenges faced in rural areas. This combined value proposition can ultimately make rural areas more attractive places to work, live and invest in.