The Challenge of Promoting Sustainable Enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean: a Regional Comparative analysis.

The ILO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Bureau of Employers’ Activities (ACT/EMP) have joined forces to analyze current conditions for sustainable enterprise development in Latin America and the Caribbean based on the 17 pillars included in the conclusions adopted during the 2007 International Labour Conference. The goal of this study is to describe the situation of enterprise development in the region.

Although The role of enterprise as an essential part of the social-economic apparatus of society has experienced positive change in the past decade, making it a key actor in efforts toward sustainable development, our region still has a long way to go. In Latin America, for example, figures from 2009 indicate that some 59 million production units generated more than 200 million jobs. Of these production units, 11 million are enterprises or companies with workers whereas the remainder (80%) are mainly one person operations. The high incidence of the latter type of production unit in the economic profile of the region is frequently associated with high levels of informality and one of its main shortcomings: productivity. Both phenomena – high informality and low productivity –are key for understanding the challenges the region faces in terms of social cohesion and social and economic progress. Undoubtedly, the definition of successful policy measures in these areas would contribute to increasing average income, improving working conditions and promoting the competitiveness of the region’s economies.