Economic Development Hero

Achieving Sustainable Economic Development

Contrary to popular belief, countries don’t need to choose between fostering economic growth and improving the lives of their citizens. They can, in fact, do both.

Time is up for the traditional approach to economic development. While boosting GDP is important, policymakers no longer have the luxury of waiting for gains to translate—hopefully—to improvements in citizens’ lives. Instead, they need to deliver growth and well-being simultaneously. By creating jobs, nurturing skills, and improving access—for all—to services and opportunities, governments create a foundation for faster, more sustainable economic development. This requires pulling a variety of levers in a carefully orchestrated way.

BCG’s Role in Economic Development Consulting

The most crucial levers for economic development can also be the most challenging to apply. BCG helps policymakers tackle the imperatives and impediments alike.

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Innovation

Nations that innovate excel at job creation, entrepreneurship, talent, and ecosystems. But unleashing innovation requires significant investment and streamlined bureaucracy. We work with governments to develop comprehensive, long-term strategies. Case in point: helping Vietnam create its National Innovation Center, a hub for advances—and opportunities—in Industry 4.0 technologies.

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Financial Inclusion

When financial services are readily accessible, whole populations can improve their lives and open new doors. Yet 1.7 billion adults are still unbanked. We use new lenses—such as behavioral economics and geospatial mapping—to understand why people don’t, or can’t, use certain products, and to figure out how to build better solutions.

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Public-Private Partnerships

How can government and the private sector work together to drive better outcomes? We look at the factors that make—or hinder—successful partnerships, such as regulatory systems, institutional support, and the climate for foreign direct investment. Then we design solutions—such as Rwanda’s Investment Accelerator—to spark interest from private companies and spur collaboration.

The dynamics around economic development are rapidly evolving. New technologies and business models are shifting economic growth to new sectors. Rising levels of inequality and increasing competition for foreign investment are adding complexity—and urgency—to achieving sustainable economic growth and well-being. To help governments reach their goals, BCG taps a unique combination of people, partnerships, and tools.

The people comprise a global network of BCG experts in economic development consulting. They include thought leaders in agricultural and financial technologies, digital, and agile ways of working.

The partnerships are with some of the world’s most influential global economic development organizations, collaborating to gain insights on how new—and often disruptive—ideas, technologies, and business models can further sustainable economic growth and well-being. For example, we’ve worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to examine how cash-in/cash out systems—and mobile money agent networks in particular—can foster financial inclusion.

The tools we use in economic development consulting consist of cutting-edge resources and programs that help us quickly develop the optimal strategy for a particular region. Our most important tools include:

BCG’s Approach to Economic Development Consulting

True economic development means laying a foundation for sustainable economic growth—for both a country and its citizens. The following client-impact stories highlight BCG's approach to making that happen.

Meet Our Economic Development Consultants

Our economic development consultants have vast experience helping to advance sustainable economic growth and well-being. Meet some of our experts on the topic.

Learn More About Economic Development

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Measure Well-Being to Improve It

Governments need a dashboard—one that tracks not just economic growth but also citizens’ well-being and happiness levels—in order to understand how their performance stacks up.

Achieving Sustainable Economic Development

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