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CSR as a tool to fight against poverty: the case of Mauritius

  • Nicolas J.F. Ragodoo
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    Purpose – The primary aim of this paper is to analyse the contribution made by business organisations in the fight against poverty in Mauritius. Whereas on one side businesses are flourishing and ultra-capitalism is the order of the day, we are witnessing, in parallel, a growing level of poverty worldwide. This situation of paradoxes is not being dealt with effectively by governments, being more interested in attracting foreign direct investment. Civil society organisations, on the other hand, lack the resources to do so. The role played by the business sector is analysed in this work. Design/methodology/approach – For data collection purpose, a questionnaire-based semi-structured interview schedule, worked out through the application of the mixed-methods approach, was devised and applied to a stratified sample of 33.3 per cent of the top 100 companies and the 19 locally-incorporated banks, based on the stratified random sampling method. Secondary sources, mainly in the form of company publications were also used. Findings – Most businesses surveyed already have established procedures with regards to the allocation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds. They are willing to help in creating a better society whether through financial or non-monetary means, and do have the resources to do so. However, presently, only 11 per cent of CSR funds are devoted to the fight against poverty. There is a need to set the priorities and to coordinate these efforts. What is lacking is the active involvement of business leaders and public figures. This is needed to create the momentum for setting poverty alleviation as a top-priority of our social agenda. Originality/value – This work contributes to the scarce literature on CSR in Africa by analysing the way business organisations in the Mauritian economy contribute to the fight against poverty through CSR. It provides an evaluation of what is presently being done, and proposes ways through which the business contribution could be enhanced in order to help more people in need.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 19-33

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:1:p:19-33
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