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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

GBL Ventures

Good Business Lab (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)
)
#SDGAction53573
    Description
    Description

    Good Business Lab is a research and innovation lab working towards demonstrating the business case for worker wellbeing. GBL Ventures - a unit of Good Business Lab - is scaling evidence backed solutions that improve outcomes for workers and businesses alike. Our focus on grievance redressal, enabling worker voice, skill development and financial empowerment help promote wellbeing, decent work and productive employment for low income workers in South Asian countries. These technology driven tools are also geared towards achieving gender equality by reducing female worker attrition and improving opportunities for female advancement. Current scaling efforts are concentrated towards two tools - Inache and STITCH - which have found early, promising traction in relevant markets. We are also in the process of developing the minimum marketable product for our third technology based tool that is geared towards improving the financial health of workers. Inache is a two-way, anonymized, multilingual communication tool aimed at enabling worker voice in manufacturing settings thereby improving the work environment and business outcomes. It was built to address the concern that low-skill, mass-manufacturing industries are characterized by a hostile work environment. The industry employs predominantly women (~60%) with limited opportunities for upward mobility. High stress, production timelines, and systemic gender discrimination create a negative work environment, manifesting in the form of abuse and harassment on the factory floor. These issues often go unreported or unresolved. Consequently, lack of reporting and adequate resolution contributes to low levels of worker well-being, high rates of attrition, absenteeism and low productivity. Our research shows that traditional mechanisms of worker-to-management communication, like suggestion boxes and helplines, are not trusted and are used infrequently by the workers, often due to fear of retaliation, thus, not allowing for transparent, accountable and anonymous two-way interaction. This underscores the need for innovative solutions that address the gendered power asymmetry and the absence of an effective grievance redressal system. STITCH is a two-fold solution that identifies most promising supervisory candidates and provides digital soft skill training. Research shows that soft skill training improves productivity and reduces attrition by improving overall wellbeing. STITCH helps bridge the gender gap where industries like textile have ~60% women in their front line workforce but the majority of supervisory positions, even just one level above, are held by men. Employing a screening software can help companies provide female workers with an equal opportunity to be promoted on merit. The individualized soft skill training helps female workers be better equipped for leadership roles and tackle any underlying biases that inhibit growth. Accompanying efforts include improving awareness on the importance of mutually beneficial solutions that aid workers and businesses. We encourage these conversations through our newly launched event series: Bridge to Action that aims to host honest multi-stakeholder conversations around current challenges and solutions. Results of our initiative can be measured through estimated direct and indirect impact over the next few years and the core means of implementation remains technology while leveraging extensive partner networks and the underlying research to drive buy-in from organizations.

    Expected Impact

    Scaling our digital solutions will further multiple SDG goals while encouraging buy-in from multiple stakeholders resulting in not only an accelerated but an enhanced scale of impact. We find it critical to accentuate that our solutions are the result of rigorous research. Through the various RCTs, these tools have already demonstrated their benefit, ameliorating the uncertainty around their potential merit. A refined, worker friendly grievance redressal and communication tool like Inache helps improve working conditions, ensures the protection of labor, and promotes improved business performance among other benefits . In terms of specific SDGs, the scaling of Inache will contribute to Goal 1 of reducing poverty given that reduced attrition, improved working conditions help workers in keeping their jobs and pursue upward mobility. This is achieved through mobilizing cooperation within all stakeholders in the ecosystem and leveraging available resources which is closely aligned with Goal 1A. Subsequently, Goal 5b is furthered by helping reduce female worker attrition in particular since systematic grievance redressal methods that hold management accountable can better tackle gender specific injustices in the workplace. The scaling efforts for STITCH directly contribute to the acceleration of Goal 5.5 where better supervisory screening and soft skill training can encourage the promotion of more female blue collar workers. A critical aspect of gender inequality in labor intensive industries is the disparity in the proportion of female frontline workers versus female supervisors. STITCH and Inache also work towards Goals 8.2, 8.5 and 8.8. RCTs for both have demonstrated greater productivity and lower cost outcomes for businesses - directly relating to 8.2. The aim is to further worker wellbeing while pursuing higher economic productivity through technological innovation. Our driving belief is that what is good for workers is good for business, thereby facilitating inclusive growth. 8.5 and 8.8 are closely linked given the focus on decent work and protection of labor rights. Digital tools like Inache which improve grievance redressal help create safer conditions, higher job satisfaction and greater productivity. In tandem, STITCH directly works towards improving opportunities for upward mobility. Evidence points that improvement in communication and training can also yield higher monetary gains for workers through better performance. Thus, blue collar workers can be a step closer to decent, safe work. GBL Ventures also furthers Goals 17.16, and 17.17. At the center of our work lies the constant effort to build collaborative partnerships with businesses, civil society organizations and the government to best mobilize knowledge, resources and synergies. This involves finding opportunities to enrich existing programs to bridge the gender gap in the workplace, and improve wellbeing outcomes. We are already involved with the Social Labor Convergence Program, R.I.S.E and are exploring associations with national bodies like the Confederation of Indian Textile Industry. As for measurable progress, STITCH and Inache together are on track to impact more than 2.7 Mn female workers and managers, alongside cumulatively impacting over 9 Mn by influencing key stakeholders and creating $49 Mn in additional income earned by workers by 2026.

    Partners

    Shahi Exports Pvt. Ltd.
    Radnik Exports Pvt. Ltd.
    GANNI
    William Davidson Institute
    USAID (United States Agency for International Development)
    International Labour Organizations
    Includovate
    World Benchmarking Alliance
    University of Michigan - Ross School of Business
    University of Pennsylvania
    Labor Solutions
    United Nations Population Fund
    Gap P.A.C.E
    IDinsight
    Humanity United
    University of Warwick
    Harvard University
    Yale
    UC San Diego
    International Growth Center
    Private Enterprise Development in Low Income Countries
    The Children’s Place
    Boston College

    Additional information

    More about Good Business Lab: https://www.goodbusinesslab.org/projects Inache Primer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X67_hPHZXPSbQNYWu7ARzUx4-TIRFdRr/view?usp=sharing STITCH Primer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UspCTBbN44hdNM-I0mmAn6m6k2v86OO6/view?usp=sharing GBL Ventures Bridge to Action Event #1: https://youtu.be/2wYtdj6slnI?feature=shared

    Goal 1

    End poverty in all its forms everywhere

    Goal 1

    1.1

    By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day

    1.1.1

    Proportion of the population living below the international poverty line by sex, age, employment status and geographical location (urban/rural)

    1.2

    By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions

    1.2.1

    Proportion of population living below the national poverty line, by sex and age

    1.2.2

    Proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions

    1.3

    Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable

    1.3.1

    Proportion of population covered by social protection floors/systems, by sex, distinguishing children, unemployed persons, older persons, persons with disabilities, pregnant women, newborns, work-injury victims and the poor and the vulnerable

    1.4

    By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

    1.4.1

    Proportion of population living in households with access to basic services

    1.4.2

    Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, (a) with legally recognized documentation, and (b) who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure

    1.5

    By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

    1.5.1

    Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population

    1.5.2

    Direct economic loss attributed to disasters in relation to global gross domestic product (GDP)

    1.5.3

    Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030

    1.5.4

    Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies

    1.a

    Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions

    1.a.1

    Total official development assistance grants from all donors that focus on poverty reduction as a share of the recipient country's gross national income

    1.a.2

    Proportion of total government spending on essential services (education, health and social protection)

    1.b

    Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication actions

    1.b.1

    Pro-poor public social spending

    Goal 5

    Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

    Goal 5

    5.1

    End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere

    5.1.1

    Whether or not legal frameworks are in place to promote, enforce and monitor equality and non‑discrimination on the basis of sex

    5.2

    Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
    5.2.1

    Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age

    5.2.2

    Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence

    5.3

    Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
    5.3.1

    Proportion of women aged 20-24 years who were married or in a union before age 15 and before age 18

    5.3.2

    Proportion of girls and women aged 15-49 years who have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting, by age

    5.4

    Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate

    5.4.1

    Proportion of time spent on unpaid domestic and care work, by sex, age and location

    5.5

    Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life

    5.5.1

    Proportion of seats held by women in (a) national parliaments and (b) local governments

    5.5.2

    Proportion of women in managerial positions

    5.6

    Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences

    5.6.1

    Proportion of women aged 15-49 years who make their own informed decisions regarding sexual relations, contraceptive use and reproductive health care

    5.6.2

    Number of countries with laws and regulations that guarantee full and equal access to women and men aged 15 years and older to sexual and reproductive health care, information and education

    5.a

    Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws

    5.a.1

    (a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure

    5.a.2

    Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control

    5.b

    Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
    5.b.1

    Proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex

    5.c

    Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

    5.c.1

    Proportion of countries with systems to track and make public allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment

    Goal 8

    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

    Goal 8

    8.1

    Sustain per capita economic growth in accordance with national circumstances and, in particular, at least 7 per cent gross domestic product growth per annum in the least developed countries
    8.1.1

    Annual growth rate of real GDP per capita

    8.2

    Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value added and labour-intensive sectors

    8.2.1

    Annual growth rate of real GDP per employed person

    8.3

    Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and encourage the formalization and growth of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, including through access to financial services

    8.3.1

    Proportion of informal employment in total employment, by sector and sex

    8.4

    Improve progressively, through 2030, global resource efficiency in consumption and production and endeavour to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, in accordance with the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, with developed countries taking the lead

    8.4.1

    Material footprint, material footprint per capita, and material footprint per GDP

    8.4.2

    Domestic material consumption, domestic material consumption per capita, and domestic material consumption per GDP

    8.5

    By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value
    8.5.1

    Average hourly earnings of female and male employees, by occupation, age and persons with disabilities

    8.5.2

    Unemployment rate, by sex, age and persons with disabilities

    8.6

    By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
    8.6.1

    Proportion of youth (aged 15-24 years) not in education, employment or training

    8.7

    Take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and secure the prohibition and elimination of the worst forms of child labour, including recruitment and use of child soldiers, and by 2025 end child labour in all its forms

    8.7.1

    Proportion and number of children aged 5‑17 years engaged in child labour, by sex and age

    8.8

    Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

    8.8.1

    Fatal and non-fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 workers, by sex and migrant status

    8.8.2

    Level of national compliance with labour rights (freedom of association and collective bargaining) based on International Labour Organization (ILO) textual sources and national legislation, by sex and migrant status

    8.9

    By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products

    8.9.1

    Tourism direct GDP as a proportion of total GDP and in growth rate

    8.10

    Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all

    8.10.1

    (a) Number of commercial bank branches per 100,000 adults and (b) number of automated teller machines (ATMs) per 100,000 adults

    8.10.2

    Proportion of adults (15 years and older) with an account at a bank or other financial institution or with a mobile-money-service provider

    8.a

    Increase Aid for Trade support for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, including through the Enhanced Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries
    8.a.1

    Aid for Trade commitments and disbursements

    8.b

    By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

    8.b.1

    Existence of a developed and operationalized national strategy for youth employment, as a distinct strategy or as part of a national employment strategy

    Goal 17

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

    Goal 17

    17.1

    Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection

    17.1.1
    Total government revenue as a proportion of GDP, by source
    17.1.2
    Proportion of domestic budget funded by domestic taxes

    17.2

    Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries

    17.2.1
    Net official development assistance, total and to least developed countries, as a proportion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee donors’ gross national income (GNI)

    17.3

    Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources

    17.3.1

    Additional financial resources mobilized for developing countries from multiple sources 

    17.3.2
    Volume of remittances (in United States dollars) as a proportion of total GDP

    17.4

    Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress

    17.4.1
    Debt service as a proportion of exports of goods and services

    17.5

    Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries

    17.5.1

    Number of countries that adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for developing countries, including the least developed countries

    17.6

    Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism

    17.6.1

     Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by speed

    17.7

    Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed

    17.7.1

    Total amount of funding for developing countries to promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies

    17.8

    Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

    17.8.1
    Proportion of individuals using the Internet

    17.9

    Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation

    17.9.1

    Dollar value of financial and technical assistance (including through North-South, South‑South and triangular cooperation) committed to developing countries

    17.10

    Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

    17.10.1
    Worldwide weighted tariff-average

    17.11

    Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020

    17.11.1

    Developing countries’ and least developed countries’ share of global exports

    17.12

    Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access

    17.12.1

    Weighted average tariffs faced by developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing States

    17.13

    Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

    17.13.1
    Macroeconomic Dashboard

    17.14

    Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

    17.14.1
    Number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development

    17.15

    Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development 

    17.15.1
    Extent of use of country-owned results frameworks and planning tools by providers of development cooperation

    17.16

    Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries

    17.16.1

    Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

    17.17

    Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships 

    17.17.1

    Amount in United States dollars committed to public-private partnerships for infrastructure

    17.18

    By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts

    17.18.1

    Statistical capacity indicator for Sustainable Development Goal monitoring

    17.18.2
    Number of countries that have national statistical legislation that complies with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics
    17.18.3

    Number of countries with a national statistical plan that is fully funded and under implementation, by source of funding

    17.19

    By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

    17.19.1
    Dollar value of all resources made available to strengthen statistical capacity in developing countries
    17.19.2

    Proportion of countries that (a) have conducted at least one population and housing census in the last 10 years; and (b) have achieved 100 per cent birth registration and 80 per cent death registration

    Name Description

    Provide 1 million low-income workers access to our worker voice tool i.e. Inache and soft skills training program i.e. STITCH by Dec 2025

    Scale to 40+ manufacturers by Dec 2024 and explore new geographical regions including Bangladesh and other South Asian countries

    Reach an audience of 250+ stakeholders through the Bridge to Action event series. Aim to have honest multi-stakeholder conversations to craft a social and governance focused growth path for the ecosystem that enhances our impact on blue collar workers

    Annual Good Business Lab event in the first half of 2024. It will be a convening of various partners and stakeholders and will highlight Ventures’ progress and elaborate on goals for the upcoming year

    Financing (in USD)
    $1,558,499 - total financing available from the launch of GBL Ventures up to Feb 2025. We continually seek new sources of funding and hence this number is likely to grow over time, resulting in greater resources available to continue scaling our tools
    Staff / Technical expertise
    GBL has 100+ employees and the Ventures unit (scale up initiative) in particular has 18+ full time employees devoted to product development, marketing and scaling of digital solutions. We plan on expanding this team over the next few years.
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
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    Entity
    Good Business Lab
    SDGs
    Region
    1. Asia and Pacific
    Other beneficiaries

    1. Low income blue collar workers in South Asian countries particularly in manufacturing settings 2. Suppliers/manufacturing firms in labour intensive industries 3. Brands in the garment industry seeking to incorporate improved worker wellbeing models and meet the needs of new regulatory requirements

    More information
    Countries
    Colombia
    Colombia
    India
    India
    Ibero-American Network of Life Cycle Assesment
    United States of America
    United States of America
    Contact Information

    Mamta, Associate Director (Ventures)