Media release

New guide looks at how businesses can engage in poverty reduction

Published on 04/04/2017

Cover of publication 10: A Guide for Businesses Reducing PovertyBusinesses have an important role to play when it comes to tackling poverty – by creating jobs, paying a living wage, addressing financial literacy and payday lending, and building better futures for young people. Now they have access to a publication that could kick-start their efforts: “10: A Guide for Businesses Reducing Poverty.”

Released today on the first day of the three-day conference, Cities Reducing Poverty: When Business Is Engaged, in Hamilton, ON, the publication includes an assessment with ten key questions to consider when exploring poverty reduction initiatives; ten good ideas on how a business can contribute to poverty reduction; and ten tips for getting started.

“Ending poverty is everyone’s business,” says Mark Holmgren, Tamarack Institute’s Director of Vibrant Communities Canada and the publication’s editor. “During last year’s conference in Edmonton, business leader Ruth Kelly, CEO of Venture Publishing, challenged us to include more business leaders in our poverty reduction work. That is why the conference in Hamilton has this particular focus. Hopefully, this guide will inspire the thinking and work of business leaders across the country.”

The ideas listed in the guide present concrete opportunities for small, medium and large businesses to engage in poverty reduction, such as:

  • Expand beyond charitable contributions by engaging in corporate citizenship
  • Employ decent work policies and practices
  • Implement a workplace policy to pay your direct and contracted employees a Living Wage
  • Create and support an inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity of your community

Each good idea comes with a case study to show how it can work in the real world and how business leaders and their colleagues are having success in improving lives and community conditions nationwide. The guide can be downloaded at

Cities Reducing Poverty: When Business Is Engaged is taking place from April 4-6 and is organized by the City of Hamilton, the Office of Mayor Fred Eisenberger and Vibrant Communities Canada. Business leaders are joined by community organizers, mayors and municipal staff, representatives from federal and provincial/territorial governments, Indigenous leaders, as well as funders, policy makers, and persons with lived experience of poverty.

During the three days, delegates share stories of progress and innovation, foster new ideas, deepen collaborative relationships, discuss the federal government’s efforts to tackle poverty, and understand the fundamental role that business can (and should) play in eliminating poverty.