Addressing sustainable development through economic empowerment
Using economic empowerment to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
When you look at the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the specific targets for each goal, it may look a little daunting. From eradicating poverty and zero hunger, to gender equality and climate action, you may wonder if it’s even possible to achieve these goals. We’re here to tell you reaching the sustainable development goals IS possible, particularly if we focus on a few areas that create the biggest leverage.
What are the SDGs?
In September 2015, 193 countries came together at the United Nations to adopt and commit to a long-term, comprehensive strategy to tackle the world’s greatest challenges related to global sustainable development. The result was the SDGs, a list of 17 goals to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030.
Why are the SDGs important?
While each goal matters on its own they all interconnect, incorporating social, economic and environmental sustainability, or as the UN puts it, a global blueprint for dignity, peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. According to Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, adopting global goals is important for the following reasons:
• Encourage social mobilization
• Create peer pressure among political leaders
• Spur networks of expertise, knowledge and practice into action
• Mobilize stakeholder networks across countries, sectors and regions, coming together for a common purpose
Economic opportunity can positively impact most SDGs.
While all the SDGs are integrated, SDG #1 – No Poverty, is the link that can move the needle for many of them. We see it every day.
Over the past fifteen years, Street Business School (SBS) has empowered thousands of women living in poverty to become small scale entrepreneurs who triple their incomes. And when women have money in their pockets, that drives other key outcomes like better health for the family, educated children, lower birthrates, and more sustainable communities—all Sustainable Development Goals in and of themselves. As we continue to scale our program by training other organizations, it’s clear that programs that help people increase their incomes have a positive impact on many of the other SDGs.
Our 86 Street Business School partners represent a variety of missions that address 16 of the 17 SDGs. But they all have one thing in common. And that one thing is that poverty exacerbates the issues they care about. We equip them with our successful, proven and customizable entrepreneurial training curriculum. In turn, it helps them create a highly effective, uniquely adapted, economic empowerment program for the people they serve.
SBS partners represent a variety of missions and address many different SDGs
The Action Foundation: An organization in Kenya that fosters equality, inclusion and opportunities for disabled kids and their families in Kibera slum (SDG #10).
Jifundishe: This NGO in Tanzania is all about education, providing opportunities for young people and adults to teach themselves using technology, books, and programs relevant to their lives and their futures (SDG #4).
Rafiki wa Maendeleo Trust: The goal of this organization is to create positive change for children and young people by empowering Kenya’s poorest communities (SDG #8).
Friends Women’s Association: This NGO in Burundi addresses the physical and psychosocial needs of women experiencing conflict, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and sexual violence (SDGs #1, #3, #16).
These organizations, and our other 86 partners throughout many sectors, have customized and adapted the award-winning SBS program to meet the needs of the people they serve, with the same quantifiable results. By adding income generation to their own toolkits, our partners are amplifying their impact, and getting that much closer to achieving their missions and the Sustainable Development Goals they represent.
Although No Poverty is just one of the SDGs, it may be the most important to help us achieve all the others. Perhaps that is why it is goal #1.
If you are looking for a proven solution today that can help you magnify your impact tomorrow, consider Street Business School certification. Through our 8-day Immersion Workshop, we provide a complete toolkit to deliver our proven micro-business curriculum to your local community, enabling you to amplify your impact.