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This report was published on 14 January 2015, ahead of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, to raise awareness of the Business Backs Education campaign, launched by the Varkey Foundation in partnership with Dubai Cares and UNESCO. The campaign was launched at the Global Education & Skills Forum in March 2014 by President Bill Clinton together with Co-Chairs Jim Hagemann-Snabe, CEO of SAP and Majid Jafar, CEO of Crescent Petroleum.

Business Backs Education wants to help educators and pupils around the world by working with the private sector to support education where it is most needed. It aims to encourage companies to:

  • Work with the public sector on core areas of education need, such as access to quality education, 21st century skills, global citizenship, and development of education professionals.

One of the aims of Business Backs Education is to show companies the benefits of bringing their CSR spending on education in line with government spending targets. UNESCO recommends that governments should spend 20% of their budget on education and that 20% of Official Development Assistance should go towards education initiatives.

This report, written by a team at EPG Economic and Strategy Consulting and overseen by an Advisory Board composed of key figures at UNESCO, OECD and Ipsos MORI, looks at how much the 2013 Fortune Global 500 list (the 500 largest companies in the world by revenue) spent on education-related CSR activities. It seeks to establish a more robust baseline for global corporate giving to education, and a sharper analysis of spending with reference to the countries and education areas that benefit. It also demonstrates a number of findings showing that small changes in the way CSR budgets are spent could have a huge effect on world education and benefit millions of children.

Click here to read the report