Companies committed to ending poverty

How much responsibility falls on companies to address poverty? On the third day of the Cerrito Forum, business leaders shared their experiences, the efforts they promote with employees and the community for the implementation of initiatives that contribute to the elimination of poverty.



Raúl Gauto from Forestal Sylvis; Liz Grütter from Casa Grütter and Fernando Milanes from the Unión Social de Empresarios de México (USEM, for its acronym in Spanish), were part of the space for companies called “Why companies should deal with poverty”, moderated by journalist Juan Cáceres Troche.



“I strongly believe that sustainable development is essential to end poverty,” said Gauto, when mentioning that there are no successful companies in failed societies and that poverty sometimes puts us in conflict; therefore, companies have to help in this situation. He said that companies have to work to end poverty and that employees who find better situations for a more dignified life will be happier employees.



He pointed out that in the area where he conducts his business, they apply the Poverty Stoplight and that mechanism has helped the residents themselves to identify their needs. “Many times, people have to struggle to survive; so, we either help them to have a source of income to make some money or they dedicate themselves to crime,” he added.



“Success must be collaborative. We have to generate shared value, because the more we take care of our collaborators, the more eager they will join in collaborating with the company, ”said Grutter, adding that the social actions and collaborative movements that increased during the pandemic, must be imitated by companies.



Grutter stressed that women should not wait to be invited to occupy important positions and that now is more frequent for women to take up spaces of great influence in companies, which allows to promote empowerment and help the self-esteem of women, their collaborators, who pay back in the work they do.



“Why should companies deal with poverty? Because they can,” Milanes replied. He assured that there is no other institution that generates wealth and can distribute it in a sustainable way, as companies can. He mentioned that these constitute the space where lives can be transformed.



He added that the entrepreneurial calling, with a purpose, can ally itself with interest groups and generate impacts. “It is a big challenge, but it is important to project common agendas, with families without poverty. This should be a permanent dialogue, being in spaces with a forward-looking approach, imagining a future with our society and reviewing what we can do to change,” he added.



The panelists pointed out that the head of the company must promote training, not only in pragmatic things, but also in spiritual matters, because motivation is essential to generate significant impacts and collective progress. In addition, they indicated that solidarity should be a normal thing.