06 Jan 2023
The Forum was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in collaboration with the Agencia Presidencial de Cooperación International de Colombia, 13-14 December 2022, Bangkok, Thailand. The Forum showcased how social & inclusive business combined with impact investing can accelerate progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The overarching theme was how to facilitate South-South cooperation between the Latin America and Asia-Pacific regions. Innovative business models such as social enterprises and inclusive businesses are emerging, which purposefully aim to address social and environmental challenges while providing products and services to the base of the economic pyramid. And financiers are shifting from investing for profit to investing for impact. Government policies have played a key role in promoting these business innovations and in directing the private sector towards more inclusive and sustainable development. For example, it is government regulation that led to the emergence of collective benefit and interest companies, which have an obligation to create positive impact on society. Similarly, targeted government policies are emerging to promote innovation within companies for a clean energy transition, supporting the ambitions of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Agencia Presidencial De Cooperación Internacional de Colombia (APC-Colombia) organized the Business Innovation for the SDGs Forum. Objective The Business Innovation for the SDGs Forum offered a space for knowledge exchange and sharing of best practices between policymakers from Asia-Pacific and Latin America with the overall aim of triggering South-South collaboration between the two regions on the topic of business innovation for the SDGs. In striving for a better, smarter, sustainable world – forums like this deliver the most cutting edge dialogue for developing innovative policy and practice. In the forum, experts shared their insights about how to mobilize finance towards gender-diverse SMEs, deliver impact for youth entrepreneurs, and clarify the future directions on the social solidarity economy.