Business is now starting to make its mark on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with innovative initiatives for clean energy, water stewardship, and green cities, to name a few. Around 80% of United Nations Global Compact companies are acting on the Global Goals. The business has already been an integral part of past development successes, driving economic growth and creating nine out of ten jobs. Still, the current trajectory is not adequate. The business sector has more to do to fulfill its potential as a responsible investor in emerging markets and an effective partner with the development community. Clearly, the business must show initiative and leadership to become a valued partner.
However, development partners and governments for their part must better understand the business to avoid missed opportunities to work together. A better appreciation of private sector motives, roles and needs are essential to attracting business interest and getting productive partnerships off the ground. What can the development community do to get private sector engagement on the right track? This question has no short answer because of the variety of engagement modes and the complexity of collective action. Our experiences and those of others reveal four basic ingredients for productive collaboration