175 episodes

Hello, and welcome to the Business Fights Poverty podcast, where we bring you engaging conversations with social impact trailblazers. Dive into a wealth of insights, diverse perspectives, and valuable advice, all designed to enlighten and inspire. Gain first-hand understanding of how businesses and thought leaders are addressing the world's most pressing social challenges, empowering you to make well-informed decisions and take meaningful action. So, sit back and join us as we explore the frontiers of business-driven social impact.

Social Impact Pioneers Business Fights Poverty

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

Hello, and welcome to the Business Fights Poverty podcast, where we bring you engaging conversations with social impact trailblazers. Dive into a wealth of insights, diverse perspectives, and valuable advice, all designed to enlighten and inspire. Gain first-hand understanding of how businesses and thought leaders are addressing the world's most pressing social challenges, empowering you to make well-informed decisions and take meaningful action. So, sit back and join us as we explore the frontiers of business-driven social impact.

    Climate change and global health with Desta Lakew

    Climate change and global health with Desta Lakew

    Climate change is a global health issue. Social Impact Pioneer, Desta Lakew joins us to share her insights on why Africa’s youthful population is a sick crisis waiting to explode if we don’t start thinking about health care rather than sick care. And how climate change is already deteriorating health in the areas she’s working on.

    Desta is a powerhouse in forging global partnerships for Africa, playing a pivotal role in securing strategic alliances for Amref Health Africa. Since joining the Amref executive team in 2014, Desta has been at the forefront of thought leadership and external engagements, working tirelessly with global partners and Amref's senior leadership to drive transformative health initiatives across the continent.

    Amref Health Africa is the largest health development non-governmental international organisation based in Africa. With over 2000 people working with them and operations in more than 8 countries within the continent. Amref is on a mission to catalyse and drive community-led and people centred health systems while addressing social determinants of health.

    Desta’s instrumental role in launching the first biennial Africa Health Agenda International Conference in 2014 marked a significant milestone in facilitating a global south dialogue and knowledge exchange on Universal Health Coverage in Africa and Asia. Desta holds a Masters of Public Health from the State University of New York and serves on the regional advisory board for Acumen East Africa and the Thematic Working Group on Private Sector of Health Systems Global. Her commitment to health equity and her strategic vision for a healthier Africa make her a true pioneer in the field.

    Join us as Desta Lakew shares her journey from Ethiopia to New York and back to Africa, her motivations, and her ongoing work to address the critical intersection of health and climate change, aiming to strengthen health systems and improve lives across the continent. Stay tuned as we explore the challenges, the victories, and the future of health in Africa with one of its most passionate advocates.

    Links:
    AMREF: https://amref.org
    AMREF’s thoughts on Health and Climate Change: https://newsroom.amref.org/news/2024/04/amref-puts-a-spotlight-on-widening-climate-change-induced-health-inequalities-in-africa/
    Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC2025): https://ahaic.org
    Desta’s Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/destalakew/

    And if you liked this, take a listen to:
    Combining Personal and Business Purpose with Hamzah Sarwar: https://businessfightspoverty.org/combining-personal-and-business-purpose-with-hamzah-sarwar/

    • 28 min
    Empowering Domestic Workers with Jenny Hoobler

    Empowering Domestic Workers with Jenny Hoobler

    Deep dive into the world of domestic work and what it means to empower domestic workers. Whether that’s cleaning, caring or generally working within the home or directly for one person or family, you will have been engaged in domestic work or know someone who is.

    The ILO estimates that 75.6 million people are engaged in domestic work around the world, and for women especially it can be an important source of income. But domestic work can be casual, without the support mechanisms many have come to rely on in decent work settings – from holiday and sick pay to safe working environment and safe working hours.

    Social Impact Pioneer Professor Jenny M. Hoobler has dedicated her academic life to unveiling the critical role of domestic work and workers in today's workforce and across all our societies.

    Jenny is now the Professor of Human Resource Management and the Academic Director of Leadership for Social Impact Knowledge Center at NOVA School of Business and Economics in Portugal. Her CV and experience include completing her PhD in the USA, and time as a Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She has consulted for companies such as UPS and USG Corporation and is an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Psychology.

    Jenny's insights into the employer-employee relationship within domestic work reveal a spectrum of experiences, from being the essential glue keeping everything going to exploitation. This episode aims to spark a conversation on the importance of formalising these relationships, ensuring fair wages, and recognising the vital role of domestic workers in supporting the so-called "100-hour couples" of today's workforce. This conversation is not just about acknowledging the challenges but also about championing change and recognising the profound impact of domestic work on our society.


    Links:

    https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/domestic-workers/lang--en/index.htm
    Intl Labor Org on domestic worker numbers, etc.

    ILO, Work on diverted mothering: https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/domestic-workers/lang--en/index.htm

    Jenny's paper on domestic workers being intersectional: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23322373.2015.1126499?casa_token=kEUWAUR9C48AAAAA%3Acp9NIOkDaQp9LWa-MCljSHPypinUXU8vDrXV09ANIxWe5yCDnek_1W9Jp_hICYI0uMsKhsV7LsFkvlk


    IDWFED - International Domestic Workers Federation: idwfed.org

    Living wage calculator for South Africa: https://living-wage.co.za/

    Jenny Hoobler: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenny-hoobler-8780754/

    Nova SBE Leadership for Impact Knowledge Center: https://www.linkedin.com/showcase/nova-sbe-leadership-for-impact-knowledge-center/


    And if you liked this do try:

    Revolutionising Maternal Health Supply Chains: Insights from MSD for Mothers: https://businessfightspoverty.org/revolutionising-maternal-health-supply-chains-insights-from-msd-for-mothers/

    • 28 min
    The business agenda on equity with Jane Nelson, Harvard Kennedy School

    The business agenda on equity with Jane Nelson, Harvard Kennedy School

    How has the business agenda on equity evolved over the past 20 years? Meet Social Impact Pioneer and Business Fights Poverty Institute Founding Fellow – Jane Nelson.

    Jane is the Founding Director of the Corporate Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School and worked with the late Professor John Ruggie who developed the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business on Human Rights. She was a director and then senior advisor at The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) from 1993 to 2013, and has been a senior associate with the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at Cambridge University and an adviser and track leader at the Clinton Global Initiative. In 2001, she worked with the United Nations Global Compact in the office of the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, preparing his report for the General Assembly on cooperation between the UN and the private sector. She is currently a co-chair of the Business Commission to Tackle Inequality (BCTI).

    Jane talks candidly about her incredible career to date and the shifting dynamics within corporate strategies towards integrating equity more fundamentally into business practices that have run in parallel. Jane has been at the table during many of the world’s pivotal conversations on societal impact in the past 30 years. She shares her insider highlights with us during this podcast conversation.

    Together with Business Fights Poverty Co-Founder and CEO, Zahid Torres-Rahman - they explore the evolution of the business and equity agenda. Jane looks back at the big trends over the past two decades and sheds light on how we navigate today’s complex challenges and transformative opportunities. Listen in to access deep insights and a dose of inspiration to guide you on your own journey, as this conversation underscores the increasing recognition of businesses’ role in fostering a more equitable economy.

    Links:

    Business Commission to Tackle Inequality: Tackling Inequality: An Agenda for Business Action: https://tacklinginequality.org/files/flagship.pdf

    Business Fights Poverty: Generative AI and Social Impact - Role of Business: https://businessfightspoverty.org/report/generative-ai-and-social-impact-role-of-business/

    Corporate Responsibility Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/programs/cri
    and
    https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty/jane-nelson

    Living Wage Foundation: https://www.livingwage.org.uk

    World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD): https://www.wbcsd.org

    And if you like this, do take a listen to:

    Combining Personal and Business Purpose with Hamzah Sarwar: https://businessfightspoverty.org/combining-personal-and-business-purpose-with-hamzah-sarwar/

    • 25 min
    What will it take to stop poverty? with Martin Burt

    What will it take to stop poverty? with Martin Burt

    Are you poor? Am I poor? And what will it take to stop poverty? Social Impact Pioneer Dr Martin Burt doesn’t think we should just be measuring poverty, or in turn wealth, by the amount of money we have alone. Martin believes that we can all be poor by some measures and that none of us are necessarily poor by all the measures.

    That is because Martin has been studying, working and leading businesses, civil society and governments to on his mission to tackle poverty. During this podcast you will hear what Martin has learnt on his journey; he shares the tools and skills he has developed in tackling poverty; and challenges us all to end poverty.

    Dr Martin Burt is the founder and CEO of Fundación Paraguaya, a social enterprise he set up in 1985 to tackle poverty head-on. Together they have researched poverty in depth and developed the Poverty Stoplight – which Martin will go into detail for us during the conversation.

    Fundación Paraguaya was named Latin America’s most impactful and innovative development organisation by the Inter-American Development Bank in 2018. El Pais recently named Dr. Burt as one of the “21 Latin Americans who are changing the world.” Whilst the Poverty Stoplight (which is a key programme Martin is spearheading) is featured in the Solutions Insights Lab “What’s Working Solutions”.

    If that wasn’t enough – Martin holds a PhD from Tulane University in Development Economics and International Development, he is a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Research Associate at University of California, Irvine.

    In public service, Martin was elected Mayor of the capital city of Paraguay in the 1990s, he has served as Chief of Staff to the President of Paraguay, between 2012 to 2013 and was appointed Vice Minister of Commerce. Martin was also twice elected as the president of the Paraguayan-American Chamber of Commerce; and has written books on economics, development, municipal government, poetry, and education. Check out - “Who Owns Poverty?”

    Links:
    Poverty Stop Light - https://www.povertystoplight.org
    Who Owns Poverty? - https://redpress.co.uk/products/who-owns-poverty
    Martin's Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/martinburt/

    And if you liked this do try: Reframing Poverty with Eric Meade: https://businessfightspoverty.org/eric-meade/

    • 29 min
    Combining social impact and entrepreneurship skills with Orsolya Ihasz

    Combining social impact and entrepreneurship skills with Orsolya Ihasz

    What happens when social impact and entrepreneurship skills are combined? The Social Impact Pioneer Dr Orsolya Ihasz.

    Orsolya or Orsi to her friends, works at the intersection between deep academia, social innovation, entrepreneurship, and public health – she is a champion of the social enterprise.
    From youth peace activist to today – where Orsi is currently the Director of the Cranfield Venture Programme and before this she spent 12 years in entrepreneurship education at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School – championing and supporting people to succeed in developing innovative ideas and succeeding in enterprise. She has a PhD in Social Innovation & Complex Information Systems, and has worked with the Department for International Development, the EU DG Youth, to promote youth-participation within policy. She is an external advisor to the World Health Organisation - working on the scaling of digitally enabled health interventions for tackling non-communicable diseases. In her spare time, Orsi is co-founder of Colab-8, a venture consultancy aimed at delivering social innovation across sectors; collaborating with RH-Consult in Geneva; and the Curiosity Incubator - Accelerator for Good at the University of Cambridge; and she’s a Fellow at the Foundation for Science and Technology.
    During this podcast conversation, we talk about innovation, entrepreneurship, solving big questions, and why health innovation needs to start in our communities.
    Orsi has been studying, teaching, advising people on entrepreneurial mindset and skill sets needed for successful social enterprises. A give away – Orsi is convinced that social enterprises are a key mechanism to tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.

    During our conversation we talk about asking difficult questions and opening doors in order to answer them; why the solution to many health challenges is community-based; and how social enterprises will be the solution to overzealous capitalism.

    Links:
    Be Healthy, Be Mobile
    https://www.who.int/initiatives/behealthy/

    R-Health Consult
    https://www.r-healthconsult.com

    Foundation of Science and Technology
    https://www.foundation.org.uk/

    Curiosity Incubator | Accelerator for Good
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/curiosity-incubator/about/

    Colab-8
    https://colab-8.com/

    Ideas to Innovation (i2i)
    https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/events/i2i

    And if you like this, take a listen to:

    Lifting Participation: Female Entrepreneurs Tackle Climate Change – with Bill Winters and Audrey S-Darko: https://businessfightspoverty.org/lifting-participation-female-entrepreneurs-tackle-climate-change/

    • 48 min
    Tackling gender inequality with Andreea Moldovan and Laura Shaw of Avon

    Tackling gender inequality with Andreea Moldovan and Laura Shaw of Avon

    How do we tackle gender inequality through work? Avon are calling for Women's progress and equality, for us to Speak Out against gender-based violence and Shine Bright for women in our communities and around the world. This podcast was recorded during the Business Fights Poverty Global Equity Summit 2024.

    Ahead International Women's Day - Andreea Moldovan and Laura Shaw joined us and had a conversation about the key findings from Avon's latest Global Progress for Women report.

    They very generously open up about their personal experiences of breaking the barriers to gender inequality and discuss nurturing entrepreneurial spirit, creating safe spaces for women to thrive and driving actionable change for a more equitable and supportive future for women worldwide.

    Andreea has 25 years of experience in direct selling and cosmetics industry, with over 10 years spent as a General Manager. Andrea has a background in computer science applied in economics
    She has lived in 3 countries and worked with more than 20 markets during her career.

    Laura, with over two decades in marketing, PR, and communications, is an accountability coach and marketing manager as well as running her successful Avon business - Laura is a proud Avon rep - supporting others to do the same.

    Links:

    Avon's Global Progress for Women Report 2024: https://www.avonworldwide.com/dam/jcr:d2346fa0-8d27-43a0-96ba-0e2282c0a3fc/IWD-report-2024.pdf

    Business Fights Poverty, Global Equity Summit 2024 - full video resources and insight reports: https://businessfightspoverty.org/global-equity-summit

    • 25 min

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