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INCLUDE holds International Multipliers Workshop

Posted: Wednesday 9 June 10, 12.34pm GMT

From 20th to 21st of May the International Multipliers Workshop “INCLUDE – Pathways to Community Investment” took place in the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. By invitation of UPJ and Business in the Community (BITC) about 50 experts from 36 organizations, 16 countries and 4 continents discussed ways and opportunities to foster corporate community investment at the local level in order to enhance social inclusion.

Business can play a vital role in addressing societal challenges and in contributing to the sustainable development at the local level by transferring a wide range of means like skills and resources to the local community. Worldwide, there is a growing number of successfully tested and implemented tools and instruments, that facilitate innovation in addressing societal challenges within collaborative initiatives between business, civil society organizations, politics and public authorities.

During the workshop multipliers of civil society organizations, business, trade associations, chambers of commerce, as well as representatives from the European Commission and several federal and state ministries used the opportunity to exchange on good practice from European and international countries. The participants intensively discussed, among other things, the interrelation between Corporate Social Responsibility and local development and discussed on how business community investment initiatives can be scaled-up in the breadth of business as well its bundling in regional networks. Other topics discussed were employee volunteering as an instrument to foster employability and the role of local public authorities to foster conducive conditions for cross-sectoral partnerships.

“In crisis-ridden times with narrow means, the need for innovative cross-sector partnerships between business, civil society organisations and public authorities becomes apparent. Thereby intermediary organizations that work at the interface of business and society play an essential role. They proactively go forward and develop new ways of cooperation beyond traditional fundraising thinking in order to scale-up quality, breadth and impact of business community investment”, says Peter Kromminga, director of UPJ. Maria-Jose Subiela, Project Director BITC International, adds: “The workshop has shown the importance of intermediary organizations in facilitating effective community investment. These are interventions that meet social need and bring business benefits. The private sector and local organizations working more closely together and developing strong local partnerships are key to building stronger communities.”
The event was supported by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Linklaters and Citi Group and is part of the INCLUDE project. INCLUDE is run jointly by UPJ and Business in the Community. The project is co-financed by the European Commission and combines an international consortium of partners from business, public authorities and civil society organizations from seven countries.

More information about the INCLUDE project at www.bitc.org.uk/global/include.html (in English) and www.upj.de/include (in German).

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Tom Halley

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