Seven debates on inclusive business – synthesis note
- Click here for an overview of current practice and debates in Inclusive Business (2014).
- Inclusive Business Database: SearchInclusiveBusiness.org – a database by the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business and the Inclusive Business Action Network – includes over 1,300 reports, case studies, tools and factsheets about inclusive business, searchable by region, topic, type, sector or year published.
- Database of over 200 organisations offering financial or technical support that may be relevant for inclusive businesses in developing countries, by the Business Innovation Facility and Innovation Against Poverty Programme
- Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business: An on-line platform providing information and practical insights to inclusive business practitioners and facilitators.
Background papers on inclusive business
The concept and role of inclusive business in international development
- Innovative Business Approaches for the Reduction of Extreme Poverty and Marginality, Heike Baumueller, 2013:This book chapter outlines the evolution of thinking in the business world around pro-poor business approaches and examines whether and how these can support not only those living close to the poverty line, but also help engage the marginalised at the lowest end of the income scale.
- Literature review: seminal papers on ‘Shared value’, DFID, 2013: This review identifies seminal papers on the concept of shared value and business ventures at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP).
- Let business do business: the role of the corporate sector in international development, ODI, 2012. This paper argues that the private sector remains tangential to mainstream development policy and practice and that donors can support the corporate sector in playing a strategic and positive role in international development.
- The roles and opportunities for the private sector in Africa’s Agro-Food Industry, UNDP AFIM, 2012. This study focuses on successful inclusive market development models and highlights the incentives required for the private sector to capture business opportunities and deepen investment in the agro-food sector.
- Measuring the ‘Inclusivity’ of Inclusive Business, IDS, 2012: This paper analyses some of the current approaches and frameworks for evaluating ‘Inclusive Business’ impacts.
- Inclusive Business Solutions: Expanding Opportunity and Access at the Base of the Pyramid, IFC, 2010: This report addresses common challenges in developing business models which serve the poor as producers and consumers, drawing on examples fromtwelve award-winning companies.
- Harnessing core business for development impact, ODI, 2009: This Background Note outlines the differences and similarities among a range of approaches used by businesses to benefit people in developing countries.
- The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, C K Prahalad, 2005: In this book, C K Prahalad, who ‘invented’ the Bottom of the Pyramid concept, makes the case for the fastest growing new markets and entrepreneurial opportunities being found among the billions of poor people. (viewable on Google Books)
- Does business structure influence social impact? Early insights and practical implications for donor agencies, DCED and Oxfam, 2016: This Briefing Note explores why business, form, governance and ownership matter, and reviews the evidence that they can influence outcomes for the poor. It is intended to support donors in enhancing the impact of future programming choices, when engaging with business.
- Why and how are donors supporting social enterprises?, ODI, 2014: The report attempts to provide a preliminary stock-take of donor activities in the area of social enterprise.
- Mixing business and social. What is a social enterprise and how can we recognise one?, ODI 2013: This Working Paper argues in favour of a narrow definition of social enterprise, combining an enterprise’s social intent and robust financial viability thresholds.
- Impact investing and beyond: mapping support to social enterprises in emerging markets, ODI, 2013: This report compiles data on support to social enterprise from a range of organisations.
Current practice, lessons and trends in inclusive business
- Growing together – strengthening micro-enterprises in value chains, CARE International, 2016. This paper is addressed primarily at large companies, and aims to fill a gap in the availability of guidelines that assess business objectives in micro-enterprise development.
- Uncharted Waters: Blending Value and Values for Social Impact through the SDGs, Business Call to Action, 2016. This paper gives an overview of how inclusive businesses can accelerate both business growth and social impact. This paper is intended to be the first in a series addressing how different actors might effectively engage with SDG agenda.
- Frontier Capital: Early Stage Investing For Financial Returns and Social Impact in Emerging Markets, OMIDYAR, February 2016. This report outlines the potential of “Frontier Capital”, investing in the low- to lower-middle-income market segments in emerging markets.
- Making Retail Modernisation in Developing Countries Inclusive. A Developing Policy Perspective, DIE, 2016: This study reviews policy options for governments to shape retail modernisation in developing countries in an inclusive way.
- Capturing BoP Markets: Corporate Impact Venturing with Inclusive Businesses, Endeva, February 2016. Inclusive businesses often struggle to scale-up their activities to meet demand. Corporate Impact Venturing enables inclusive businesses and corporates to meet their objectives together. This paper explores what is needed to enable these partnerships to be productive.
- Business and International Development: Is Systemic Change Part of the Business Approach?, IDS, 2014: This empirical study explores whether and how pro-poor business approaches can drive shifts in broader market systems.
- Growth for Good or Good for Growth? How Sustainable and Inclusive Activities are Changing Business and Why Companies Aren’t Changing Enough, Citi Foundation and others, 2014: This report studies corporate incentives and disincentives for inclusive business models through primary research of over 40 companies.
- Breaking Through: Inclusive Business and the Business Call to Action today – Mapping challenges, progress and the way ahead, by UNDP and Ashley Insight, 2014: This report reviews five years for the Business Call to Action, based on draws on data provided by BCtA’s membership base of 94 inclusive business initiatives.
- Growing Prosperity: Developing Repeatable Models to Scale the Adoption of Agricultural Innovations, Acumen & Bain and Company, 2014: Based on research across South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including interviews with over 300 smallholder farmers, this report proposes how companies can “get smart about scale”.
- Smallholder engagement with the private sector, EPS PEAKS Topic Guide, 2014: This Guide looks at smallholders’ degree of engagement as well as the possibilities to link them to formal firms in ways that may improve access to capital, inputs, know-how and markets.
- Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale, Monitor Inclusive Markets, 2014: This report studies market-based solutions to poverty reduction, focusing on barriers they face to scaling up, as well as successful examples and the factors that enabled them to achieve scale.
- Why Business Models Matter, Michael Kubzansky, in: Chandy, Laurence et. al. (2013) Getting to Scale: How to bring Development Solutions to Millions of Poor People, p.33ff: This article explores the importance of getting the business model right when it comes to designing solutions that are able to reach scale. (You can view the article on google books)
- Back to Business Fundamentals: Making “Bottom of the Pyramid” Relevant to Core Business, by Erick Simanis and Mark Milstein, 2012: This paper analyses why there may be decreasing interest by multinationals in investing at the BoP, and what can be done about it.
- Promise and Progress. Market-Based Solutions to Poverty in Africa, by Michael Kubzansky et al., 2011: Based on a sample of 439 market-based initiatives in Africa, this study identifies the business models that have achieved large-scale development impacts.
- Business solutions to poverty. How inclusive business models create opportunities for all in Emerging Europe and Central Asia, UNDP, 2011: The report explores the development and business opportunities provided by inclusive business models, and elaborates on the specific constraints linked to developing inclusive business models in the ECA region and how they have been overcome. It includes 19 case studies.
- Inclusive Business Guide. How to develop business and fight poverty, Endeva, 2010: This report provides an overview of the inclusive business concept and target markets, the process of setting up inclusive business models and the sectors with potential for inclusive business. The report features numerous practical examples.
Donor support to inclusive business
- Inclusive Business Toolbox. Promoting Inclusive Business Models in Development Cooperation Programs, GIZ, 2015: This toolbox aims to provide planning officers, project leaders and staff involved in PSD and other development programmes with a set of tools that can be used to integrate Inclusive Business into programming.
- Trends in Public-Private Partnerships and Inclusive Business Models for Improving Food Security and Rural Development Through Agriculture, Carana Corporation, 2014: This study provides an overview of current international trends in how donors are engaging with the private sector and developing inclusive business models in pro-poor value chains.
- Multiplying impact: Supporting the replication of inclusive business models, BMZ, 2014: This report seeks to provide guidance on how best to support the replication of inclusive business models based on three primary challenges faced by inclusive businesses: the lack of knowledge; the difficulty in finding partners to execute replication plans; and the general absence of tailored financing instruments.
- Inclusive Business. Options for support through PSD programmes, GIZ, 2013: The objective of this paper is to explore options in the context of private sector development programmes for promoting companies that apply inclusive business models.
Partnerships (grants/ technical advice)
More detailed information on donor funds and facilities for partnering with business (e.g. through challenge funds) canKnowledge Pages on Partnerships for PSD.
- Corridors for Shared Prosperity: Spotlight on India-Africa Inclusive Business Transfer, IFC and Intellecap, 2015: This report highlights opportunities for facilitating South-South Inclusive Business Transfer between Indian and African enterprises.
- Public-Private Partnerships in global value chains. Can they actually benefit the poor?, Duke University for USAID, 2015: This report examines partnerships in three global value chains – cocoa in India, coffee in Rwanda and horticulture in Kenya – which had varying degrees of success in reaching the poor.
- Adding Value to Innovation. Lessons from Donor Support to inclusive business from the Business Innovation Facility Pilot, Business Innovation Facility, 2014: This report summarises key lessons learnt from a facility that provided technical advice to inclusive businesses.
- From Paper to Practice: Learning from the journeys of inclusive business start-ups, Sida, 2013:The report explores the journey of companies supported by the grant programme Innovations Against Poverty in 2012-2013. It offers lessons on what works and what doesn’t in base of the pyramid markets.
- Inclusive Business Models. Options for support through PSD programmes, GIZ, 2013:This paper examines how instruments for promoting inclusive business models can be integrated into private sector development (PSD) programmes in German technical cooperation.
- The 4Ps of Inclusive Business: How perseverance, partnerships, pilots and passion can lead to success, Business Innovation Facility, 2013: This report compiles lessons learnt from the Business Innovation Facility Pilot on how to best support inclusive business.
Business Environment Reform
More information on donor support to business environment reform can be found on the DCED Business Environment Database.
- How to create an enabling environment for inclusive business? Learning from experience and debates in private sector development, DCED, 2016: How can agencies help create an enabling environment for inclusive business in partner countries? And how, if at all, does this differ from regulatory reform and policies to facilitate private investment in general? In order to help answer these questions, this scoping paper summarises a very large body of emerging evidence, structuring it into key debates for further exploration. The paper takes a global perspective, incorporating lesssons from the inclusive business literature as well as other communities of practice in private sector development (PSD).
- Policy Note on the Business Environment for Inclusive Business Models, IFC, 2012: This policy note reviews whether there inclusive businesses face any specific regulatory barriers and makes recommendations on business environment reform that supports inclusive business.
- Realising Africa’s Wealth. Building Inclusive Business for Shared Prosperity, UNDP AFIM, 2013: This report describes the status of inclusive business in sub-Saharan Africa and the ecosystems, including government policies, underlying the enterprises and entrepreneurs driving such approaches.
- Inclusive Business Policies. How Governments can engage companies in meeting development goals, Endeva, 2013: This study summarises policy options for governments to support inclusive business models.
- Results Measurement in Impact Investing: A Preliminary Review. DCED, 2016.
- Impact Investing and Inclusive Business Development in Africa: A research agenda. The Open University, 2015.
- IMPACTBASE Snapshot. An analysis of 300+ impact investment funds, GIIN, 2015.
- Spotlight on the Market. The Impact Investor Survey, J.P. Morgan, 2014.
- From the Margins to the Mainstream: Assessment of the Impact investment Sector and Opportunities to Engage Mainstream Investors, WEF, 2013.
- Market Baseline Study. Impact Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia in 2013, The Impact Programme, 2013.
- Priming the Pump: The Case for a Sector Based Approach to Impact Investing, Omidyar Network, 2012.
- Impact Investing 2.0. The Way Forward: Insight from 12 Outstanding Funds, GIIN, 2012.
Case studies on inclusive business models
- Inclusive business practices in Africa’s extractive industries, ILO, 2016. This policy note presents key factors contributing to inclusive extractive industries. Each of these factors is explained with reference to examples and lessons learned from African countries at various stages of development of their mining and petroleum sectors.
- Smallholder farmers and business. 15 pioneering collaborations for improved productivity and sustainability, Hystra, 2015: This study looks at how pioneering companies and organizations have succeeded in enrolling smallholder farmers in productivity-enhancing schemes, sustainably and at scale – either as buyers of produce or sellers of products, services or equipment.
- Shared prosperity through Inclusive Business. How successful companies reach the base of the pyramid, IFC, 2014: This report summarises specific tactics that companies in IFC’s investment portfolio repeatedly use to reach the BOP.
- Sustaining and Scaling the Impact of Enterprise Development Programmes: SABMiller’s Approach to Strengthening Business Ecosystems, Harvard Kennedy School (2014): This report documents SABMiller’s approach to create more sustainable impact at scale through their enterprise development programmes, with case studies on Columbia and South Africa.
- Leaping and Learning: 31 case studies on linking smallholders to markets, ODI, 2013: This documents offers short profiles of 31 busines models that link smallholders to markets.
- Seven Case Studies from the Business Innovation Facility Portfolio, BIF, IDS and SBS, 2013. The studies explore seven business models supported by the Business Innovation Facility in a range of different sectors.
- Realizing Africa’s Wealth: Building Inclusive Businesses for Shared Prosperity, UNDP AFIM, 2013: This report look specifically at inclusive businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and the region’s inclusive business support systems, drawing on 43 in-depth enterprise case studies and further research.
- Scaling up in agriculture, rural development and nutrition. The PepsiCo model. IFPRI, 2012: The PepsiCo model for scaling up agricultural supply chains, technology transfer, and agronomic education is used in a similar fashion across countries and regions. Following a general description, this brief examines two examples.
- Exploring the links between international business and poverty reduction: The Coca-Cola/ SABMiller value chain impacts in Zambia and El Salvador, Oxfam America et al., 2011: This study is the output of a multi-year collaboration among The Coca-Cola Company, Oxfam America, and SABMiIIer in Zambia and El Salvador to identify the companies’ poverty impacts
- Measuring Unilever’s Economic Footprint: The Case of South Africa, Ethan Kapstein, 2008: This report seeks to compile evidence on the economic, social, and environmental impacts of Unilever in South Africa.
- Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative: Case studies of Inclusive Business Models. The Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative has compiled more than 160 case studies of Inclusive Business Models on its website. These can be searched by different categories such as business sector, themes and type of companies.