Created in 2000, the Awards will recognize five private companies for their work in improving the lives of the world’s most disadvantaged people and their contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – eight internationally agreed upon goals that aim to reduce poverty and encourage sustainable development by 2015. Winning companies will be able to demonstrate how they have been able to achieve commercial success while encouraging long-term economic and social development in the communities they work in.
“Increasingly the private sector is a critical component for increasing aid effectiveness and achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” said Jean Rozwadowski, Secretary General of ICC. “The World Business and Development Awards are the first international business awards given on a biennial basis to recognize business for its role in alleviating poverty and fostering an enabling environment for enterprises of all sizes and sectors to grow, create jobs, and pursue technological innovation and cooperation.”
With the deadline for MDG achievement set for 2015, the UN system has devoted 2010 to building a renewed momentum for working toward them. In September, leaders from business and government will convene in New York for the special MDG Summit, hosted by the UN Secretary-General. The Summit aims to produce a global action agenda, specifying the roles and partnerships – including those of the private sector – required to achieve the Goals.
Companies, institutions and associations of all types and sizes are invited to participate by nominating a project that documents business activities leading to progress in one or more of the MDGs.
Award winners will be presented with a framed certificate during an awards gala under the patronage of high-level dignitaries from business, government and civil society. Winners will be profiled in the publications and on the official websites of ICC, UNDP and its Business Call to Action, and IBLF.
An international judging panel made up of ICC Secretary General Jean Rozwadowski and IBLF’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Graham Baxter as well as leaders of non-governmental organizations, business entities and international agencies will make the final selection.
Past winners of the World Business and Development Awards include both multinational and small- to medium-sized enterprises. In 2008, 10 companies were recognized for their commitment to fight poverty and improve the lives of millions of poor people across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Winners included Safaricom for their M-PESA mobile banking platform that provides over eight million subscribers in Kenya with a access to banking services; SMART Communications for helping 40 million people gain access to communication and micro-enterprise opportunities through its mobile phone services in the Philippines; and Diageo for its efforts to build the local sorghum value chain in Nigeria and contribution to the development of approximately 27,000 jobs.