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Christian Aid launches business network, bringing leaders together to tackle poverty

12 October 2016 - Christian Aid has launched a national network for business leaders who are committed to improving their company practices in a sustainable way, both locally and on a global scale.

The SALT network will support business leaders to bring about change within their company and influence others in their sector. It will also give them an opportunity to provide financial support to entrepreneurs in developing countries, through a special Christian Aid fund.

Christian Aid launched the initiative in London on Tuesday 11 October, at a gathering of business leaders from across the UK.

Helen Howe, Christian Aid’s Salt Network Manager, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for businesses, large or small, to improve their own practices and support some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to develop and grow in a more sustainable way.

“We have launched SALT in response to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which set out an ambitious global framework to ‘end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all’. As the UN rightly points out, responsible business and investment are both essential if we want to see this type of transformational change in the world.”

Money raised by SALT network members will enable small and growing enterprises, with little access to finance and technical assistance, to grow and become sustainable. This fund will support fledgling businesses, benefitting their employees, suppliers, customers and the wider community.

An injection of capital from the fund will help rural enterprises to access business development support, technical assistance and affordable loan finance (of over £10,000). Many of the business that will be helped are led by women, many of whom have been identified for their great transformational potential.

The network will explore three different themes each year and is supported by theological reflections to help leaders make decisions in a faith context. The programme has been designed to accommodate busy schedules: much of the learning will be online, with members meeting face-to-face around three times a year. 

SALT member and Sustainability Director at NG Bailey, Cal Bailey, said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing what business leaders can do with Christian Aid’s help. There are many learning networks, but few groups bring learning and action together. I look forward to participating and hope that together we can help reform a corner of God’s world, and so help build a corner of His kingdom.”

SALT aims to be a global network by 2020.

ENDS

If you would like further information about the SALT network, please email salt@christian-aid.org


Notes to editors: 

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. 

4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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