National Corporate Convening: Business Opportunities in Community and Economic Development

As further described in Evolving Corporate Business Engagement in Community and Economic Development, changes in the economy are increasing the alignment between businesses’ bottom-line interests and the traditional goals of community and economic development (CED) to address economic and racial disparities and create more vibrant local economies. As a result, many businesses are investing in CED, not as charity or branding, but as strategic business development of products, markets and labor force.  

However, few structured opportunities exist for businesses to discuss the opportunities and challenges in this emerging practice. The Corporate Coalition of Chicago and RW Ventures, LLC convened a group of 70 business leaders to explore the practice of business-aligned CED activities. This report summarizes key takeaways from the lively and highly productive convening, highlighting how companies can identify and tailor initiatives to capture opportunities for business-aligned CED and exploring how to scale and codify the emerging field of practice.

The convening was made possible with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

April 23, 2024