Resources on Business and Education

The following resources help guide companies’ involvement in global education.
Business should develop a business case to engage in education, identify projects that address business and social needs, track progress, and be smart about their social investments.



1. Investment in Global Education: A Strategic Imperative for Business

The report, launched by Accenture, the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, and the Global Business Coalition for Education, highlights shifting demographics and migration patterns that affect education systems in emerging markets. As workers retire in Western Europe and the US, wealthy countries will look to emerging markets to fill their vacancies.  The report identifies a business case to advance global education goals based on rigorous data analysis and a case study on India.

2. The Smartest Investment: A Framework for Business Engagement in Education

A joint effort between the UNESCO, UNICEF, the UN Global Compact, and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, the framework offers a three-part process for business to engage responsibly in the education sector.  Business can derive benefits from engaging in education by: fostering innovation in its products and services, addressing operational risks, improving brand leadership and enhancing their reputation, boosting employee morale and retention, and developing the capacity of future employees.

3. The New Role for Business in Global Education

Developed by FSG, major companies have long depended on governments to educate their future employees, but traditional education systems are no longer delivering the skilled graduates that companies want to hire. A new wave of companies is taking a far more active role by partnering with schools, nonprofits, and governments to improve educational outcomes directly. Through the concept of shared value, these companies are finding new ways to grow revenue and increase productivity by helping to raise levels of student and workforce achievement.



1. How the world’s best performing school systems come out on top

Studying 25 of the world’s school systems, including 10 top performers, McKinsey & Company identifies three strategies to come out on top: 1) Getting the right people to become teachers, 2) Developing them into effective instructors; and 3) Ensuring the system is available to deliver the best possible instruction for every child.  The report establishes a framework to identify potential activities that maximize social impact for public school systems.

2. eLearning in Africa – Transforming Education through Enabling Technologies

Limited teachers and reduced budgets are some the challenges that face public education on the African continent as it enters the 21st century.  Accenture’s report discusses how technology – including wireless and cloud-based platforms – can improve access to equitable learning opportunities.

3. Scaling Up Corporate Social Investments in Education: Five Strategies That Work

GBC-Education Advisory Board member Justin W. van Fleet examines five principles to harness corporate social investments and improve engagement in education.  When engaging in education, business should consider adopting benchmarks to assess learning outcomes, collaboration with other actors, and meeting the needs of public education systems and government priorities.

4. Harnessing Private Sector Capabilities to Meet Public Needs: The Potential of Partnerships to Advance Progress on Hunger, Malaria and Basic Education

This report by the World Economic Forum articulates a business case for education investment – including building workforce capacity and expanding new markets.  It also examines how companies can apply their core competencies to achieve Millennium Development Goal 2: universal access to primary education.

5. Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works

The gap between labor needs and available skills leave students unprepared for the world of work.  McKinsey & Company’s report on building effective education systems documents partnerships between business, government, and civil society that create relevant learning experiences to prepare students for the workplace.

6. A Lesson Plan for Partnerships: Insights from Leading STEM Nonprofits

Developed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center, the report identifies ways for business and nonprofits to partner together better to improve science, technology, engineering, and math education.  In summary, the report finds that nonprofit partnerships have room to be more strategic by taking on an “investment mindset”.




1. Measuring the Value of Corporate Philanthropy: Social Impact, Business benefits, and investor returns

Selecting the right metrics to communicate the costs and benefits of corporate philanthropy is challenging for corporate giving professionals – especially in the field of education.  This report by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy assesses various measurements studies, models, and evidence that can be adapted for diverse social issues.

2. Measuring Shared Value: How to Unlock Value by Linking Business and Social Results 

Shared value is a management strategy focused on companies creating measurable business value by identifying and addressing social problems that intersect with their business.  This report by FSG – advisors on shared value – can guide metric development for impact assessment, reputation management, and compliance when engaging in the education sector.

3. Measuring Socio-Economic Impact: A World Business Council for Sustainable Development Guide for Business

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s framework to measure and evaluate socio-economic impact identifies 10 adaptable tools to drive business and social value and move beyond compliance.  Applicable to the education space, these tools allow business to integrate socioeconomic issues – including education – into business operations.



1. Children’s Rights and Business Principles

In partnership with the UN Global Compact, UNICEF, and Save the Children, the guide identifies 10 principles for business to protect and advance the rights of children – including the right to a free, compulsory basic education.

2. Women’s Empowerment Principles

The Women’s Empowerment Principles resource is a joint effort of UN Women and the UN Global Compact, forged through international consultations with government, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.   Principle 4: Education and Training is one of seven principles and discusses how business can support gender equity in the workplace as well as develop role models for the next generation.