Inclusive Economy

Connect Catholic networks with partners to drive systemic change for the most vulnerable, starting with migrants, especially women and children

Improving livelihoods through economic inclusion is key to achieving protection and sustainable solutions for the most vulnerable in our society, and ultimately achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Providing a path to purposeful work is the single most effective intervention to address chronic poverty and exclusion, uphold human rights and dignity, and offer real alternatives to forced migration.

As the global community seeks to rebuild after the shock of COVID-19, this requires a new coalition of innovative philanthropists, foundations and socially conscious businesses, social entrepreneurs, and faith actors. Catholic communities, particularly congregations of men and women inspired by Catholic Social Teaching and by Pope Francis’ visionary leadership, have been working on the front lines to foster social and economic empowerment of the most vulnerable and to build a fairer society and economy. To maximize their impact, GSF is working to break silos, foster inter-congregational efforts and create systemic and long-term partnership with businesses and other development actors at the global and local levels.

GSF is focusing on two workstreams over the period of 2020-2022:

  1. Facilitating and supporting inter-congregational efforts at the global level to affect the post-COVID development landscape, and at the local level through focused pilots to build trust relationships with partners, have the greatest possible impact on people’s lives, and test specific approaches;
  2. Creating a powerful and flexible platform at the global level to bring together leading businesses and representatives of the Catholic Church through the launch of an “Innovation Lab.”

As a starting point, we have focused on further empowering the work of the Catholic Church with migrants — offering them alternative opportunities, thus preventing forced migration and promoting their economic empowerment.

If your organization is active in this area, and you’d like to learn more about partnering with us, please contact us.

Videos highlighting our work

Inter-congregational work

A global platform of six leading religious congregations has been formed with GSF support to share experiences and develop joint programs on job creation/placement for migrants. Participants include Salesian women and men, Scalabrini International Migration Network, Missionaries of Charity women, Ursuline women and Jesuit Refugee Services. The first action will be to assess the impact of COVID-19 on employment of migrants across Latin America and Africa.

At the local level, in Ethiopia GSF is supporting these congregations and other Catholic bodies such as the Socio-Pastoral Commission of the Addis Ababa diocese to create a pilot program enabling sustainable alternatives to migration. This network is connecting with private sector partners, creating virtual ‘hubs’ to train migrants for employment and entrepreneurship and place them in good jobs. The congregations place a special focus on the needs of women, in order to strengthen families’ economic resilience. Building on the Ethiopia experience, GSF will take this work to scale at the global level through the inter-congregational platform.

Innovation Lab

GSF is building an Innovation Lab, bringing together different sectors and drawing from successful case studies to help deliver technology-based solutions to address context-specific needs and enable migrants and refugees to access labor markets. The Innovation Lab will enable collaboration among partners, helping to maximize the impact of Catholic Church contributions to the achievement of the SDGs on the ground.

Here are key tools GSF draws on in its inter-congregational work and the Innovation Lab to catalyze economic inclusion of migrants:

Knowledge broker


Support inter-congregational knowledge sharing and documentation of evidence

Context-specific assessment


Ensure congregation-led comprehensive gaps and needs assessment in difficult geographies

Opportunities for skills


Facilitate skills assessment, matching of skills to demand, and upskilling through technology-based solutions

Impact at scale


Enhance impact of congregational and private sector efforts by facilitating implementation at scale

Partnership network


Establish a customized network with selected businesses and partners to meet employment needs

In Focus

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In only 30 months, the Global Solidarity Fund pilot project in Ethiopia has changed the lives of more than 1500 migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. Here are five of their stories.
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A new hair bonnet shop recently opened in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, thanks to an innovative network of Catholic congregations of men and women that provide economic empowerment to vulnerable populations. The Global Solidarity Fund (GSF) partnered with the congregations to establish this network. The Inter-Congregational Network is a new consortium that includes 6
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For years, the Catholic Church has provided critical resources and training for migrant communities across Africa and Latin America. Hear from Sister Ruth del Pilar Mora FMA, speaking at the Global Solidarity Fund’s launch of the Innovation Lab for Job Creation, on effective job training programs run by the Salesian
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For migrants, refugees and IDPs in developing countries, what can offer hope for a better future? Sr. Ruth Pilar del Mora, Provincial Superior of the Salesian Sisters AES, describes her congregation’s partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund in Ethiopia, and the difference she believes the Innovation Lab on Job Creation
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Refugees and migrants want the same things as everyone else: a job, home, healthcare, and a way to help their community. Father Leonir Chiarello CS speaks about the importance of integrating migrants into society, saying that migrants are “part of the solution, not part of the problem.”
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It’s time to work together to help migrants and refugees. Hear Global Solidarity Fund Board Member and President Patrick McGrory explain why philanthropic organizations play such an important role in global development, and why they are poised to create innovative solutions to tackle world problems head on.
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Businesses, international leaders and faith communities must join forces to provide concrete solutions that put refugees’ needs first. Global Solidarity Fund Executive Director Marta Guglielmetti explains how the Innovation Lab on Job Creation will be shaped by the experiences of refugees and migrants and the importance of local solutions.
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To support migrants and refugees around the world, businesses need to work together with international organizations and faith-based communities. Speaking on the Global Solidarity Fund’s Innovation Lab on Job Creation, Executive Director Marta Guglielmetti explains why we need collaboration across sectors to help the world’s most vulnerable people.