Partners Worldwide: Ending Global Poverty and Hunger Through Business

November 21, 2017

Roxanne Addink de Graaf, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Partners Worldwide

How can business end global poverty and hunger?

This is a driving question for Partners Worldwide, and one of the motivators for us to join the Alliance to End Hunger.

Partners Worldwide has been working at ending poverty through business for 20 years.  Our faith-based organization grew out of a dialogue in Kenya, under the wings of CRWRC (now World Renew), with a group of compassionate businesspeople who asked how they could be more involved in the work of ending poverty.

Now, 20 years later, we are a global network that partners with business-focused institutions in 31 countries who are pursuing together our shared vision of ‘a world without poverty, where all have life and have it abundantly.’   Our faith and love for our neighbors drives us to pursue a world where each individual is able to use their innate creativity, their unique gifts and resources to live fully—free of hunger and poverty in all its forms.

How do we pursue this vision?  We currently partner with 78 Local Community Institutions (LCIs) around the globe.  Each institution we partner with is rooted in communities facing poverty and high unemployment. Partners Worldwide supports these LCIs through four strategic activities: Business Training, Mentoring, Access to Capital, and Advocacy.

A distinct aspect of our model is the engagement of experienced businesspeople as volunteers who are deeply committed to walk alongside the local institutions and leaders in our network.  These volunteers provide mentoring, coaching, encouragement and financial support. Last year, there were 1,191 volunteer mentors engaged in our partnerships, 80% coming from within the regions around the globe where we work.

The power of this unique partnership model of engaging businesspeople to end poverty is reflected in the outcomes. Last year this global network of partners, and the business clients they serve, sustained over 150,000 jobs in communities of poverty and high unemployment.  We celebrate each year as businesses grow, as incomes rise through employment, as farmers’ yields increase, and as communities reach food security.  We are witnesses to the global progress made in the fight against poverty and hunger.

But we know the job isn’t done yet.  There are still 700 million in poverty on this globe and that’s 700 million too many!

We want to put our passion and the resources of our global network towards the global goal to eliminate poverty and hunger for good by 2030. We know that ethical businesses and compassionate businesspeople are essential to achieving this goal.  And we know that no one organization, sector, or nation can achieve this ambitious goal alone.

The goal of a world without poverty and hunger requires new alliances, patient partnerships and the extra effort to work together.  We look forward to working with members of the Alliance, as we together bridge business and charity, share knowledge and create market links between rich and the poor that can break the bonds of poverty.  With the Alliance network, we seek to join hands with our brothers and sisters around the world, seeing all people as created equal and creative, with voices that are vital to the solution to end global hunger and poverty.

To find out more about the work of Partners Worldwide, please visit us at: www.partnersworldwide.org