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.

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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Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever, and Board Member, Global Solidarity Fund, speaks at the Global Solidarity Fund’s Innovation Lab on Job Creation for Migrants and Refugees.
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Fr. David Holdcroft, SJ, Professional and Post-Secondary Education Specialist, International Office, Jesuit Refugee Service, speaks at the Global Solidarity Fund’s Innovation Lab on Job Creation for Migrants and Refugees.
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JR Kerr, CEO, Handshake, speaks at the Global Solidarity Fund’s Innovation Lab for Job Creation for migrants and refugees.
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At the Global Goals Studio during Davos week, a discussion on the Global Solidarity Fund’s collaboration with the private sector to catalyze jobs for migrants and refugees. Participants include Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, Unilever; Fr. Leonir Chiarello CS, Superior General of the Scalabrinian Missionaries; and Patrick McGrory, Private Wealth
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Sr. Ruth del Pilar Mora, FMA, Provincial Superior of the Salesian Sisters AES, describes their work and partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund.
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Fr. Petros Berga, Pastoral Coordinator, Diocese of Addis Ababa, describes the Catholic community’s work with migrants in Ethiopia and its partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund.
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Fr. Leonir Chiarello CS, Superior General, Scalabrinian Missionaries, describes their work with migrants and refugees and partnership with the Global Solidarity Fund.
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Fr. Thomas Smolich SJ, International Director, Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), discusses JRS’s collaboration with the Global Solidarity Fund.