Friday, April 12, 2024

YOU, ME & CSME – Philantrophy


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IN THE RECENT Commonwealth meetings held herein the Caribbean, development, particularly the region’s development, was high on the agendas of both the civil society and ministers’ meetings.High on the developmental agenda though, was philanthropy, with a series of innovative drivers behind capital market ventures. It was, I thought, a pretty decent investigation into how private financing and multilateral funds could assist Small Island Developing States’ (SIDS) economies.Though an evolving arena, philanthropic avenues are increasingly seen as progressive and enabling of both investors and developing countries in their social development and transformation. Philanthropy serves to enlarge the pool of capital available then for the growth of widespread social services in developing regions and is ushering in a trend of investing for profit, gifting opportunity to SIDS to mobilise these resources for creating better social systems for the majority of their people.Former US President Bill Clinton, now United Nations Special Envoy to Haiti and co-chairman of Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), has foreworded an article entitled: How Giving Can Save the World.This piece is the prologue of a work by Matthew Bishop and Michael Green, called Philanthro-Capitalism. It is a must-read for virtually anyone interested in resourcing social development. Starting from the premise of a world in economic recession, the authors articulate how the flow of resources, of investment, of aid, has been diverted, and how the cost-cutting rationalisations of donor countries have suddenly turned inward to ensure internal stability first. In the Small Island Developing States of our region, there has been a reported growth rate reduction, with many striving to maintain the gains made in development. Typical of recessions, fiscal revenues decline, demand for social services increases along with the maintenance of social safety nets. Still in this web, SIDS see themselves as dependent, as they rely to a vulnerable degree on international vagaries, international trade as their primary sources of revenue.The remodelling of development and its financing is much anticipated in the shadow of declining FDI, defaults on donor commitments, and concerns about the quality, quantity and effectiveness of the progress investments have made.Philanthropy as a technique of social and economic growth has not been on our minds, especially not for the funding of for profit companies, improving investment climates or funding development projects that assure future internal momentum.Philanthro-Capitalists, also known as Venture Philanthropists or Entrepreneurial Philanthropists, are reconstructing international notions of philanthropy and what they can augur. Bishop and Green, making the case for philanthro-capitalism, argue that its conceptual framework comes from venture capital business applying these to traditional philanthropic goals. This ensuing new industry has seen tremendous growth, new wealth creation, new tools and services being employed in entrepreneurship and generosity to assist in development goals for the greatest number of people.Investing with an eye towards creating and maintaining the greatest social and environmental impact possible has been a growing trend, internationally. With a reported $50 billion in assets, this new industry in the next decade has a potential for enabling with a $500 billion pocket.Providing credit and training in entrepreneurial and business logistics, impact investors and entrepreneurial philanthropists, target mentors, and small scale entrepreneurs, finance small and medium sizedenterprises and offer strategic advice to civil society and to governmental agencies.Believing that investment should be profitable and accountable, philanthro-capitalists suggest that sustainable development can be best attained by a focused strategy of efficient and consistent private sector funded development projects and systems.They demonstrate that a lack of money no longer has to be a hindrance to solving many of the region’s vexing social challenges, noting that a wealth of creative ideas employed in collaboration with the tools of capitalism in corporate social responsibility will create a more just result.


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