Photo: EY


Helping Entrepreneurs Accelerate Progress Toward the SDGs

By Steve Krouskos, Ernst & Young
02:07 PM, September 15, 2017

At EY, we believe everyone should be able to contribute toward and share in the benefits of economic growth. With billions of people still living without affordable access to essential goods and services, that may feel a long way from reality. We are proud to be working with a new breed of impact investors and entrepreneurs who are making it their business to tackle this inequality, driving inclusive growth by generating better answers to some of society’s toughest challenges. When these businesses work better, the world works better, which is why helping to accelerate their growth and impact is a vital part of fulfilling our purpose of building a better working world.

In many ways, our economies have been geared to the needs of the few, not the many. Billions of people have been left behind without electricity, safe water and sanitation, decent education and healthcare, or the opportunity of fulfilling work. With the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN has given us a common language to describe these challenges and a framework for collaboration to tackle them. Helping impact entrepreneurs change lives.

Business has a pivotal role to play and impact entrepreneurs are at the forefront. Fusing the social mission of a nonprofit with the market-driven approach of business, they are critical engines for powering inclusive growth, human dignity, and potential. That is why a key area of focus for EY is to bring the knowledge, skills, and experience of our global organization within the reach of early-stage impact entrepreneurs, including those pioneering new business models for bringing essential goods and services — and a better quality of life — to millions.

We are sending experienced EY people to work with them on a not-for-profit basis, helping to improve their businesses’ resilience, productivity, and capacity for sustainable growth. In so doing, we are not only extending valuable support to people and places we might not otherwise reach, we are also offering inspirational development experiences for our people.

Doing what we do every day

These not-for-profit engagements are run using the same methodologies and project management techniques as EY member firms employ with mainstream government and large commercial clients.

By using those techniques, EY people have helped tackle a wide variety of issues – from designing the business models and operating structures needed to set up new enterprises, to helping more established enterprises put in place the systems and processes they need to better manage their people fi nances, customers, and data as they scale.

Photo: Corbis/EY
Photo: Corbis/EY

Accelerating progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals

To date, EY teams have provided approximately 60,000 hours of consulting support to nearly 60 clients in more than 25 different countries across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Central and Latin America. The following are just a tiny sample of the legacy builders EY has supported recently, illustrating how their growth will contribute to the achievement of the SDGs:

• Improving access to export markets for smallholder farmers in Sudan

Africorp provides a route to global markets for more than 4,000 smallholder farmers in some of the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities. Working capital and processing constraints mean the company is unable to meet the demand for its products, which include sesame, hibiscus, and Arabica gum. EY was engaged by a consortium of impact investors to develop the robust business plan needed to attract growth capital.

• Extending access to safe drinking water in East Africa

With an ingenious business model that uses advanced solar-powered equipment to purify locally sourced water and make it available for a fraction of the price of other bottled waters, Jibu aims to bring clean, safe drinking water to a million people by 2020. EY helped them establish the robust fi nancial and operational controls needed to support rapid expansion.

• Advancing container-based sanitation (CBS) as a viable answer to the global sanitation crisis

With one in three people on Earth still without healthy, dignified sanitation, the world cannot wait for sewers. EY worked with Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor and its Clean Team business in Ghana to identify means by which Clean Team could achieve profi tability and position itself to scale, including assessing the viability of its CBS model in other markets.

• Reducing use of dangerous, polluting kerosene in rural India

Frontier Markets is tackling the problem of access to clean energy by building a last-mile distribution and maintenance network for reliable, affordable solar products. EY worked with Acumen’s Lean Data Services team to help them build scalable, costeffective means to continually gather customer feedback and use that insight to strengthen every aspect of their strategy and operations.

• Providing employment and sustainable development in Bolivia

Chalalan is a community-owned ecotourism company located in the heart of the Madidi National Park on the Bolivian Amazon. It is the main source of employment for the 630 inhabitants, and any profi ts are redistributed to this community. EY helped Chalalan develop the business infrastructure and credible growth plan it needed to attract impact investors.

» EY teams treat each project with an Acumen business with the same level of professionalism as any major corporate EY engagement, consistently delivering high-quality work. «
Justus Kilian, Post Investment Manager, Acumen

» EY filled a skillset and experience gap that was crippling our ability to scale. For the first time, we’re able to make management and business model decisions that we were previously making blindly. «
Galen Welsch, Co-founder and Africa CEO, Jibu

» It’s been an inspiration and a privilege to work with such a genuinely purpose-driven business – one that’s literally changing people’s lives. «
Elisabeth Wallis, Senior Manager, People Advisory Services, Ernst & Young Incorporated

About the Authors
Krouskos, Steve
Ernst & Young

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, the 152,000 people are united by their shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. They make a difference by helping their people, clients and wider communities achieve their potential.


Ernst & Young operates as the most globally integrated firm, with one methodology, across all our geographical areas. It's a structure that enables Ernst & Young to mobilize our people quickly, and allocate them to projects in the right place, at the right time.

Through our industry-focused approach and worldwide reach, they help clients like you manage risk, improve performance and sustain the results. Ernst & Youngs Advisory services help execute enterprise-wide performance transformation initiatives. They help turn strategy into reality.

Source: All information was taken from the Website.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect CSR Manager's editorial policy.
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