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How Private Businesses Can Partner With Government Agencies To Facilitate Change When the private sector partners with government agencies, it can create a powerful incubator for change.

By Under30CEO Edited by Mark Klekas

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Governments and political leaders are increasingly interested in investing in environmental and social projects to improve life, according to Under30CEO.com. Businesses are doing their part, as well. Many are pushing beyond vague corporate social responsibility initiatives and actively investing in measurable, money-backed welfare efforts through things like ESG 3.0.

The impact of these initiatives is powerful and only increases over time, according to Under30CEO.com. However, the greatest change can happen when the two halves of the business and political world come together. Wealthy, profit-driven companies partnering with government agencies can create an explosive, synergistic environment.

Here are a few recent examples of private businesses partnering with government agencies to facilitate real, tangible change.

Enhancing animal welfare

The welfare of humanity's winged, finned and four-legged friends has become an increasingly important focal point. Younger consumers are interested in investing in improving the lives of domesticated and wild animals.

CitizenShipper is a transportation platform that has been doing its part for animal welfare, too. The company is built on creating a community around the need to move things from one place to another. Since its inception over a decade ago, the platform has created jobs for an army of drivers who have helped move many priceless items across the country.

Related: Considering a Government Program to Support Your Startup? Here's What You Need to Know First.

In 2018, the company gained momentum when it began to focus on its pet transport capabilities. The service became a trusted online platform where pet owners safely move their animals — over 100K of them to date — from point A to point B.

Part of CitizenShipper's success was fueled by its willingness to engage and work with the USDA with a specific focus on animal welfare. The company encouraged its drivers to become certified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and worked to streamline the USDA certification process.

"Pet transportation in particular presents unique shipping challenges and often requires consumers to navigate a confusing landscape," Richard Obousy, CEO of CitizenShipper said. "The USDA provides a wealth of educational and other resources regarding animal welfare regulations and best practices, so as the #1 pet shipping platform in the US, we are always looking for new ways to encourage USDA registration and engagement with the agency among our large network of transporters."

It's an initiative that is both historical and ongoing, too. The two entities continue looking for ways to educate pet handlers on animal welfare and make achieving the right certifications desirable. One of these is an animal welfare tutorial that the USDA is in the early planning stages; it would be available to any registered transporter. CitizenShipper, in turn, would award drivers who successfully complete the tutorial with a badge for their profile on the CitizenShipper platform, where transporters can distinguish themselves from others.

Relieving pandemic pressure

When the pandemic started in 2020, many companies had to make drastic changes. For a time, manufacturing facilities and assembly lines were unable to operate.

This natural lull had a huge impact on auto-makers as the facilities of major brands lay idle. China's zero-Covid policy meant parts were hard to come by. Social distancing mandates made operating facilities challenging. But the restrictions sparked something the private sector is renowned for: innovation.

Several car makers, including Ford and GM, began working with the Trump administration a few months into the pandemic. The goal? To convert vehicle assembly lines into systems that could create ventilators. Ventilators were currently scarce due to their need to address patients with severe Covid symptoms.

Related: 5 Lessons the Pandemic Has Taught Entrepreneurs

Other companies also used the occasion to spark their creativity. Tesla and Space X worked on sourcing pre-existing noninvasive ventilators for hospitals to repurpose for their needs. Virgin Orbit began working on a brand new breathing device design. The collective effort of private sector companies and government agencies showed how fast collaboration can allay a growing need, even in a time-sensitive crisis.

Improving health conditions in Africa

When the hotel magnate Conrad Hilton passed in 1979, his charity, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, was relatively small. However, after the death of its founder, the non-profit became the chief beneficiary of his estate. This supercharged its ability to create meaningful change practically overnight.

Fast forward 35 years, and the Hilton Foundation made another leap forward by partnering with the CDC. The government agency and private nonprofit joined forces in 2015 to help improve WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. The two powerful organizations became the nucleus of a cabal of other NGOs (non-government organizations) and local health offices. Together, the group worked to improve care and reduce disease in portions of the struggling continent.

By connecting the wealth of private funding with the infrastructure of a government entity, the partners could implement more effective and sustainable interventions. These propped up rural healthcare facilities throughout the African regions in which they were operating. The CDC would use its experience to assess current conditions. From there, its nonprofit partners would create targeted interventions with measurable outcomes. The result was better standards and higher quality that filled WASH gaps in places where people suffered most from them.

Government agencies, for-profit companies, and nonprofits each have their own ways of impacting the world around them. They already invest sizable quantities of time and resources into creating positive change.

When these organizations join together, the results are almost always greater. When the private sector partners with government agencies, it creates a powerful incubator for change.


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