Private sector companies are facing increasing pressure and showing growing willingness to ensure a direct positive economic impact on the communities where they operate. One of the primary ways in which this impact can be realized is through purchasing goods and services locally. Local supplier development, also known as business linkages, local content or local sourcing, is increasingly favored as a strategic business tool by both large national and international companies.

Local supplier development requires a range of shared strategies and responsibilities between the company, the communities and the government where it operates. The company needs to design a program and align its internal incentives to encourage local procurement. In the community, local businesses need to be made aware of opportunities and supported to meet the standards and demands required by the companies. Governments also play a role in setting the frameworks and business enabling environments within which business linkages can be successful.