Jobs are a foundation of economic opportunity and can be key drivers of financial inclusion. Employment provides consistent income and skills training for those seeking to move into the formal economy. While the perception is that large multi-national companies are the lead job creators, small enterprises create more jobs than any other segment of the economy. In the U.S. for example, small businesses accounted for 57 percent of total employment and more than 50 percent of gross domestic product.1 Successful job creation takes the alignment of multiple factors. Appropriate conditions must be in place to ensure that entrepreneurship can thrive, business owners can hire, and products and services can be provided. Access to appropriate financing, human capital development, alignment with environmental impact, and supportive government policy are all necessary components to driving job growth.
In 2012, the Citi Foundation invested more than $11 million in support of Enterprise Development programs that drive innovation and thought-leadership while building knowledge for the good of the sector. As part of this investment strategy, we support membership organizations that play an important role in coordinating the activities of investors and intermediaries to maximize impact while playing an advocacy role. At the local level, we recognize that investments in organizational capacity and direct service are also valuable. We have a particular interest in investing in organizations that promote "triple bottom line" returns in financial, social, and environmental impact including sustainable supply chain finance.