On Course to Becoming the World’s Largest Job Creator
The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership is trying to prove that creating jobs is the best way to tackle global poverty.
Walmart is currently the country’s largest employer, with some 2.2 million employees all around the world. If all goes according to plan, the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership is poised to surpass that number within a decade.
Founded by President Bill Clinton and Lionsgate Entertainment founder Frank Giustra, and backed by billionaire Carlos Slim, CGE is a nonprofit that sets up for-profit businesses in developing countries such as Haiti and Peru. The mission: create good, local jobs–because a job is the most valuable thing you can give someone.
“If you can create jobs and can give people source of real income, then poverty will take care of itself,” says Giustra.
Giustra appointed Mark Gunton to be CGE’s CEO. It was Gunton who was tasked with coming up with a replicable model to create a massive number of jobs. “If you want to address poverty at scale, replication is the most important,” Gunton says.
Now, there are three types of businesses CGE builds. In places where there’s a large but fragmented agricultural industry, CGE builds supply chain hubs, which process and package products from local farmers so they can be sold off to large buyers and multiply farmers’ income. In other geographically remote locations, CGE builds distribution centers. These facilities employ local women to sell products from companies such as Procter & Gamble and Nestle that want to reach the so-called “bottom-of-the-pyramid.” Finally, in places where existing businesses lack a qualified labor pool, CGE builds training facilities to help the local population fill those in-demand jobs. Each time one of CGE’s students lands a job at, say, a hotel, CGE earns a fee from that hotel. All three entities are designed to make real money, not only so they can be self-sustaining, but also to enable CGE to build even more businesses around the world.
After just over a year in operation, CGE has built six enterprises, with another six on the way. It’s created nearly 20,000 jobs, trained more than 16,000 people, and has generated more than $13.5 million in income for these workers. Within five years, Gunton says, he hopes to have created 100 enterprises around the world. But perhaps more important, he hopes to influence other charitable organizations, by proving that combining business and charity is a surefire way to scale social impact.
“We want to change the whole development paradigm,” he says. “You’re changing a life when you’re creating a job.”
By: Issie Lapowsky
Image: Debra Kellner/Courtesy Clinton Giustra