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By accelerating the growth of the fourth sector's supportive ecosystem, we can rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis to build a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable world.


To harness the fourth sector globally and unleash the potential of for-benefit organizations to generate social, economic and environmental benefits at scale, key interventions from policymakers, business leaders, investors, academia, social innovators, and civil society are needed.  

Our vision is to build a better post-COVID-19 economy that leaves no one behind, overcomes the structural barriers to equality and transparency and puts purpose first, so that our planet and society can thrive for generations to come.  We aim to do this by working together to accelerate the growth of the emerging fourth sector of the economy and its supportive ecosystem.

Our goal is to hasten the fourth sector’s growth — transitioning from what has been an organic, self-organizing, and emergent process to an intentional one. To do so, we aim to provide the necessary tools, information and support that encourage key strategic actions by policymakers, business leaders, investors, academia, civil society and other actors to recognize and support the emerging sector. 

Recognizing requires seeing the distinction between for-benefit organizations and other forms, and acknowledging their legitimacy and importance. Supporting the sector can then happen through removal of systemic barriers that impede the creation for-benefit organizations, implementation of targeted policies and programs that uplift them, and strengthening of the supportive infrastructure for the sector to thrive.

As governments consider how best to deploy public funds to respond to the crisis and stimulate economic recovery, they should consider how to encourage the whole of society to take part in the rise and growth of the fourth sector to build back better.

Everyone has a role to play in growing the fourth sector. Our vision of success includes everyone, in each of their domains, participating in and benefiting from the growth and formalization of the fourth sector.

To see how anyone can help with this effort, and action steps that key actors should be taking, check out our TAKE ACTION page now.  

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The rise of a new sector.

A fourth sector of the economy has been growing over the last decades at the intersection point of the three traditional sectors of the economy.  The emergence of hybrid business models that leverage market-based approaches to deliver social or environmental benefit is blurring of the boundaries among public, private and nonprofit sectors…

How for-benefit are responding to COVD-1


A growing and diverse class of enterprise pursuing social and environmental aims as their primary purpose.

“For-benefit” or “purpose-driven” are generic terms that refer to a wide range of emerging enterprises with a primary commitment to social and environmental purpose, while earning revenues by selling products and services.  These hybrid business models are creating a new fourth sector of the economy.  Now more than ever, we need to build a supportive ecosystem for for-benefits to unleash their power to address the world’s most pressing challenges…

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Legacy "3-sector thinking" and the lack of an ecosystem.

The growth of the fourth sector is constrained by legacy "three-sector thinking." This perpetuates the lack of a coherent and cohesive supportive ecosystem for the sector — including policies and regulations, financial markets, measurement and reporting standards, among other enabling conditions...

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