U.S. Chamber Launches Business-led Consortium Dedicated to Pro Bono Service in Developing Countries

WASHINGTON, Oct. 07, 2011  - At the 2011 Global Corporate Citizenship Conference yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) joined Dow Chemical Company and Executives Without Borders in announcing the International Business Corps. International Business Corps is a business-led consortium dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations in emerging markets by mobilizing volunteer business experts and by leveraging core business functions in the delivery of social good.

“Fifty years ago, President Kennedy created the Peace Corps to promote social and economic development around the world,” said BCLC’s Executive Director Stephen Jordan. “The new International Business Corps builds on this inspiration and helps Chamber members and their employees leverage the power of volunteerism to advance global development.”

International Business Corps’ model does not require one-to-two-year overseas deployments; the framework offers corporate volunteers the ability to contribute their expertise to international organizations while working within their typical business lives.

Targeted are four specific areas through which these volunteers will engage with charitable organizations to advance economic opportunity within the communities they serve. Those areas are: increasing access to education, stimulating entrepreneurism, providing vocational training and creating conditions for employment opportunities.

A corporate visit to Haiti in 2010 following the devastating earthquake served as the impetus for the creation of the International Business Corps. A year later, in August 2011, a delegation trip took place in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, to test the feasibility of the International Business Corps model. From that trip, International Business Corps members selected three nonprofit organizations with which to engage as pro bono partners in the coming year: Bola Pra Frente, Saúde Criança and CDI. Information about each of these organizations and their pro bono needs, as well as multi-media footage from the Brazil trip, is available on BCLC’s website.

The International Business Corps founders include Alcoa, Amadeus, the Chamber’s BCLC, Dow Chemical Company, Executives Without Borders, Greif International, HP, IBM, Merck, Motorola and Tupperware. Michael Webster from Dow Chemical Company chairs International Business Corps, while the Chamber’s BCLC and Executives Without Borders jointly provide operational, administrative and technical management.

As a 501(c)3 organization, BCLC serves as a voice and resource for the business community's social and philanthropic interests. BCLC is affiliated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and works to strengthen collaboration among companies, chambers, NGO, and governmental agencies. The U.S. Chamber is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Contact: Catherine Keller, ckeller@uschamber.com or 202-431-1993