The success of any company or country depends on the ability of people to develop new ideas, solve problems, and work in teams. All of these characteristics start in the earliest years of life. During the first five years, a child’s brain develops one million synapses—neural connections that support learning and skills—every second, with the brain growing to 90% of its adult weight. Differences in brain performance between children in higher and lower income families are evident as early as nine months old. Economists have found that investments in effective early childhood programs for disadvantaged children have a rate of return that exceeds the stock market. This aspect of human capital development now permeates the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically 2.2, 3.2 and 4.2. For this reason, business leaders worldwide are helping create an environment that gives children a fair start, to become the future employees, customers, citizens and neighbors that their communities and nations need. They are supporting community programs, using their employee and customer networks, speaking out in the media, advocating for public investments, and pursuing a variety of social impact investments that target this group. Innovative products and services are bringing quality early learning to a variety of countries, at a fair and sustainable price. Companies not in the children’s sector are using their excess capacity to support early childhood, or applying their expertise to this sector. Early childhood is also becoming a new target for venture capital firms. This workshop will provide the business case for impact investing in early childhood as a proven economic strategy, the range of investments companies are making now to provide young children the foundation for adult success, and how companies can develop their own options. Dr. Sara Watson is the Global Director of ReadyNation/ReadyNation International, a business membership group that supports executives to advocate for public and private investments that build the future workforce. She has worked with local leaders to create business networks for early childhood in Uganda, Romania and Australia. She co-chairs the Advocacy Task Force for UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development Action Network and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. Previously she was Vice President at America’s Promise Alliance and directed The Pew Charitable Trusts’ 10-year national campaign for preschool, which contributed to doubling public investments. She has a B.A. from Carleton College, and Master of Public Policy and Ph.D. degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School.