What are the opportunities for partnerships between companies and NGOs? How can we create inclusive business (IB) partnerships that are strategic and contribute to attaining the SDGs? What are best practices, and on the other hand, pitfalls? These are some questions that were touched upon in the online workshop hosted by Global Compact NL, Partos/The Spindle, Endeva and PUM on April 16th. A collaborative session in which a group of 30 individuals from a range of companies and NGOs came together to explore the relevance and ‘how-to’ of Inclusive Business Partnerships. The participants jointly looked into opportunities for new potential partnerships to be formed! Through expert presentations, interviews, and group discussions different aspects of IB Partnerships were dealt with.
Creating and supporting IB Partnerships
The workshop kick-started with an informative presentation by Nelleke van der Vleuten from Endeva, outlining the relevance and ways for achieving successful IB Partnerships. These can be accessed from this publication, co-authored by Nelleke. RVO’s Program Coordinator SDGP, Christina van der Heden, presented some basics and lessons learned on the SDGP, the main program by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support the SDGs through IB partnerships. RVO assists (i.e. through funding) companies and NGOs in the development of new IB Partnerships.
IB Partnerships in Practice
Representatives from the company DSM and NGO Dorcas presented their first-hand experiences with IB Partnership programs. DSM works with NGO World Vision and the Sight and Life Foundation on a Last Mile Nutrition program in Rwanda that aims to increase access to nutritionally improved foods. According to DSM, the IB partnership helped increase knowledge sharing among the diverse partners, created an enhanced business ecosystem, and improved local access for the products by disadvantaged groups. Dorcas, who partners with company Mueller and three Ethiopian social enterprises, found that the IB partnership allowed common goals to be better reached as the participating organizations complemented one another with their different skills.
Towards the end of the workshop participants were divided into SDG-specific breakout rooms to e-meet, exchange ideas and see where the next steps could be taken. Lively discussions resulted, with most participants being open for new collaborations and eager to connect! When explaining the reasoning behind his company’s interest in starting an IB partnership one person said, “while alone you may go faster, together you can go further”.
Publication NGO and Company Partnerships for Inclusive Business