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Discussing the role business has to play in poverty alleviation


On February 21, 2021, the UN PRME Working Groups on Business for Peace and Anti-Poverty to discuss the role business has in poverty alleviation.


Topics and presenters were:

Grupo Familia: A Study in Peacebuilding

This presentation provides an overview of Grupo Familia, a consumer package goods company whose household paper products and personal well-being products are distributed throughout Latin America. Grupo Familia has become a leader in sustainability practices, integrating the poor throughout its supply chain and including, through innovation and social impact, populations historically marked by the Colombian internal armed conflict and violence.


Juan Alejandro Cortes Ramirez is a full-time professor, Escuela de Economía, Administración y Negocios, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia. He is also Director of the Faculty of Business. His research interests include Organizational Learning, Knowledge Management, Organizational Theory and Design.


Claudia Patricia Velez Zapata is Titular Professor in School of Economy, Management and International Business at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia. She studied her Ph.D. at CEU San Pablo, Madrid, Spain. Her research focuses on Colombia illegitimate environments and its organizational impacts.


The elea Way: Philanthropic Impact Investment

This presentation will introduce the elea Way, an innovative impact investment approach that leverages private capital from high-net-worth individuals to reduce absolute poverty. Practical and hands-on in approach, the elea Way finds common ground between impact investors, who can be challenged to find suitable opportunities for their private capital, and social entrepreneurs, who can struggle to make good use of capital. Examples of early-stage social enterprises that have scaled to market to fight absolute poverty will be given.


Vanina Farber is an economist and political scientist specializing in social innovation, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility. She is a Professor at IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland, where she is the holder of the elea Chair for Social Innovation. Before coming to IMD, she was Professor and Chair of Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion at Universidad del Pacífico, Peru, where also served as Dean of the Graduate School of Business. Vanina holds a Ph.D. from the University of Memphis, USA.


PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group

Milenko Gudić is co-chair of the PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group and visiting lecturer at UDG, Montenegro. Milenko was the Founding Director of IMTA – International Management Teachers Academy. He co-edited several books on the integration of poverty, sustainability and SDGs into business and responsible management education. He received a PRME Pioneer Award for “Thought Leadership: Translating PRME into Action.”


Al Rosenbloom co-chairs the PRME Anti-Poverty Working Group. He is Professor Emeritus, Dominican University, USA. Al held the John and Jeanne Rower Distinguished Professor Chair. His research interests are in poverty eradication, responsible management education, and sustainable development.


PRME Business for Peace Working Group

Dr Christina Bache is chair of the PRME Business for Peace Working Group, a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science, IDEAS, co-chair of the International Crisis Group’s Ambassador Council and an adjunct faculty member at Vesalius College in Brussels. Christina’s research interests include peace and conflict management studies with a specific focus on the intersectionality of business, forced migration, and the meaningful inclusion and participation of women in fragile and conflict-affected situations.


Robert Sicina is co-chair of the PRME Business for Peace Working Group. He is a Professor at the American University and Co-Director of Blockchain Hub, Kogod School of Business. Robert leads student teams that help entrepreneurs in post-conflict regions create business plans. He also is a member of the International Advisory board of Partners of the Americas. He is the author of the book, “Learn from Failure: The Key to Successful Decision Making.”

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