Poverty research: Examining business schools’ impact on addressing global poverty

BGA launches groundbreaking research to gain insight into the impact business schools have on poverty across the world.

According to UNICEF, almost half of the world’s population – over 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day.

It is also estimated that 1.3 billion people across the world live in ‘extreme poverty’ – surviving on less than $1.25 a day – and it is understood that 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. UNICEF reports that 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

While anecdotal evidence shows that Business Schools are taking action to address poverty in terms of course modules and practical interventions in local and more global communities, there is a paucity of recent research on the role of Business Schools in addressing poverty and related issues.

This year, BGA will conduct groundbreaking research with business schools across the world to gain vital insight into:

  • The status of ‘poverty’ as a topic in business programmes 
  • How business schools address poverty through specific projects, and the contribution of business schools to enhance the lives of low-income consumers, especially those in absolute poverty.

Over the coming months, BGA’s Research and Insight team will conduct qualitative interviews with deans and, where possible, low-income beneficiaries. The focus being on the prevalence of poverty-related modules within business programmes, how business schools are working to improve the lives of low-income consumers, and what impact these activities are having on those in poverty and on the local economy.

The study will explore specific projects business schools are undertaking to help address poverty. It will also explore views on how the sector should tackle poverty and educate future leaders on how responsible management can help those most economically disadvantaged.

This project will look closely at the future strategy of business management education and the potential impact of business schools. It will also take a case study approach, identifying good examples of where business schools have made a difference to those who survive on the most limited resources, but also to identify where these projects work elsewhere and improve. The aim of the study is to shine a light on the work of business schools in tackling poverty, and to heighten their important role in business management education and thought leadership.

Will Dawes, Research and Insight Manager at BGA, is leading the research report about poverty. He said:

‘As a global Business School community we have a duty to lead the way in tackling poverty around the world, to ensure a business environment is fostered that improves the quality of lives for all. AMBA recognises that its Business Schools already undertake crucial work in this area, and we want to raise the profile of these innovative projects.’

Read the first set of interviews with Business School leaders working to address the poverty gap here.

If you would like to contribute to this study by nominating a project from your business school, or to enquire about taking part in an interview or focus group around this poverty research, please email E.buchan@amba-bga.com

The results will be shared with the BGA community over the coming months.

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