Bill Clinton on Creating Economic Value in a Crisis

Last Updated Aug 25, 2009 11:54 AM EDT

Former President Bill Clinton contributes to the September Harvard Business Review with an essay on how the private sector can contribute to the good of society.
"Short-term thinking got us into the financial mess, and long-term investments that also benefit the world around us can lead us out of it. Any large-scale efforts to solve the great global challenges that do not include the private sector will fall short."
What company does this well? Clinton points to Coca Cola, and its work in Africa. Coke allows independent entrepreneurs, including women, to establish distribution centers for the company. "This model helps Coca-Cola secure hard-to-reach markets while creating job growth in those communities. So far, Coca-Cola has established 2,500 independent distribution businesses across Africa, providing direct employment for more than 11,000 people and generating more than $500 million in annual revenue."

Read Clinton's full essay.

  • Sean Silverthorne

    Sean Silverthorne is the editor of HBS Working Knowledge, which provides a first look at the research and ideas of Harvard Business School faculty. Working Knowledge, which won a Webby award in 2007, currently records 4 million unique visitors a year. He has been with HBS since 2001.

    Silverthorne has 28 years experience in print and online journalism. Before arriving at HBS, he was a senior editor at CNET and executive editor of ZDNET News. While at At Ziff-Davis, Silverthorne also worked on the daily technology TV show The Site, and was a senior editor at PC Week Inside, which chronicled the business of the technology industry. He has held several reporting and editing roles on a variety of newspapers, and was Investor Business Daily's first journalist based in Silicon Valley.