The Managing Director of LADOL, Dr. Amy Jadesimi, gave a speech at UN General Assembly on 22 September 2016 on behalf of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission which is chaired by Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and co-founded by Paul Polman the CEO of Unilever.ÃÂ Dr. Amy is one of only 31 international Commissioners on the commission, one third of whom are women.ÃÂ Business Commission is drawing upon the expertise of these 31 global private sector and civil society leaders to inform its work and reach new audiences.
The Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’ÃÂs Economic Empowerment report was released on 22 September 2016, at the launch event, which was attended by Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General, a handful of leading women were asked to make commitment statements on behalf of their organisations.
Dr. Amy Jadesimi contributed on behalf of the Business and Sustainable Development Commission as follows:
Title: Women Are Driving the Global Economy
I’m Dr. Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director of LADOL, a $500m Free Zone in Nigeria, a Commissioner on the Business and Sustainable Development Commission, which is Chaired by Lord Mark Malloch Brown. The Business Commission is making a powerful case, supported by sound evidence, rigorous research and compelling real-world examples, for why the private sector should seize upon the SDGs as the greatest opportunity for corporate growth and profitability of our lifetime. The commission’s work will help high growth, low income countries achieve the SDGs by catalysing the empowerment of and the investment in critical and currently marginalised groups, such as local private sector companies and women.
Women are not simply beneficiaries of SDG Goal 5. They are also leading the achievement of all SDGs. If the world commits to gender equality, equal engagement in the workforce adds $28 trillion US dollars to annual global GDP in 2025. Women are drivers of the global economy and they are critical to leading the shift to an inclusive and sustainable world.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission’s mission and vision are in line with those of LADOL. Just as LADOL has positively disrupted the oil and gas and maritime sectors, the BSDC seeks to support and drive disruptive innovations that breaking new ground and transforming business models in health, education, mobility, agriculture and energy. Such business models are challenging the status quo of established industries – ÃÂfrom fossil fuels to fashion. The work of the Commission is all the more important given the threats of social and environmental externalities. The private sector needs immediately accelerate inclusive growth and drive sustainability at a far greater speed and scale than it has to date.
The Business and Sustainable Development Commission, launched in January 2016, aims to accelerate this market transformation and advance the world’ÃÂs transition to a more prosperous, inclusive economy. The core of its mission is to make a powerful case – supported by sound evidence, rigorous research and compelling real-world examples – ÃÂfor why business leaders should seize upon sustainable development as the greatest opportunity of our lifetime.
The Commission we will show how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide the private sector with a framework for achieving this market shift. The Business Commission’s flagship report, due to be published in January 2017, will highlight:
- The evidence for new sustainable growth models, which are becoming increasingly more attractive and affordable. However, there are many more companies that remain on the current path, and our research will make clear the significant risks, which could lead to adverse effects on growth and profit.
- New business models and how they can align profitability with sustainable development, and how first-movers are already gaining an advantage in the market.
- The challenges and opportunities for new financial tools to crowd in private capital and align economic and social returns. We will identify major financing challenges, such as pervasive short-termism, as well as potential solutions, including prioritising the benefits of patient, long-term investments.
- The need for business, government, and civil society to effectively build a new social contract to create a more enabling environment and drive collective action for achieving inclusive, sustainable growth. This will require a stronger role for all stakeholders, and it will also require the private sector to proactively earn the trust of society. We will argue that delivering the SDGs requires both a stronger private sector and a stronger public sector.
Although still in the early stages, the research findings so far show there are significant economic opportunities for the private sector to create new business models that transform markets and drive inclusive growth across several key industries. These findings will be finalised in the coming months, and will take centre stage in the Commission’ÃÂs final report.