Exploring the peacebuilding potential of MSMEs
On the occasion of the publication of the joint CDA / International Alert / FriEnt Dossier “Business and Peace: It takes Two to Tango” FriEnt invited about thirty experts from academia, German and international peace building and development Organisations to discuss and further develop central issues of the dossier. The first event in February 2021 was dedicated to the peace building potential of medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs).
Markus Mayer, one of the authors, gave an introduction, Kristian Hoelscher, PRIO, Birgit Seibel, GIZ and Jessica Banfield, Independent Consultant in the field of Peacebuilding and Economic Development kicked off the discussion with comments from their respective experience.
- No shortcut to peacebuilding
Economic development is an important basis for peace and actors in this field are numerous and varied. However, economic development does not automatically lead to peace. Rather it takes unconventional approaches from economic actors to contribute to peace and it takes collaboration from peacebuilding actors to make this link work. This is one of the important lessons from the CDA / International Alert / FriEnt Dossier on “Business and Peace”. Commenters and participants very much agreed and underlined the importance of considering the two sides when designing economic development programmes for peace and supporting economic actors with a view to supporting peace.
What is more, 20 years of assembling evidence provide a sound basis for finally linking the private sector and the peace and conflict fields. Not the least the unprecedented economic destruction and heightened fragmentation and social division wrought by Covid 19 brings the business and peace lens back into economic recovery programmes as a priority.