While many businesses support healthcare and environmental concerns as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR), education is under-represented as a cause among private companies. This needs to change.
Led by the Varkey Foundation, UNESCO and Dubai Cares, the Business Backs Education campaign was launched by former president Bill Clinton at the Global Education & Skills Forum in March 2014.
With backing from UNESCO and the Global Business Coalition for Education, it was designed to bring business in line with Government and NGO education spending targets. UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) recommends that Governments should spend 20% of their budget on education and that 20% of Official Development Assistance should go towards education initiatives.
SAP, Crescent Petroleum, PwC, Honeywell Group, Majid Al Futtaim, Jumeirah Group and Equity Bank, Kenya all signed up to the Business Backs Education campaign. Summits took place in London, New York, Dubai and at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Why does education CSR matter?
Evidence suggests that global corporate giving to healthcare is currently 16 times greater than to education. Although business gives far more readily to healthcare, most companies acknowledge that an educated and skilled workforce is critical to commercial success, and to the development of a peaceful and stable society.
We asked private sector businesses to come together to support global education through:
• Holding summits with key business leaders
• Working with private companies to increase investments
• Undertaking global research to provide a clear picture of current global corporate giving to education
• Encouraging philanthropy
• Highlighting the sustainability of supporting education
• Showcasing the positive social and economic impact of giving to education
• Leading discussions about corporate citizenship