The G20 and Inclusive Business

On 30 November and 1 December 2018, the thirteenth G20 meeting was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Exactly one year ago, Mauricio Macri, the President of Argentina had announced that Inclusive Business was going to be one of the 2018 Summit´s official thematic areas. Now the G20 Leaders released key documents for Sustainable Development and to bridge the financial gap for Inclusive Business.

After one year of work on the topic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN) release an Update on Inclusive Business, including 47 projects, initiatives and policies. All individual reportings can be found here.

G20 Documents 2018 Summit:

The G20 (or Group of 20) – an international forum for governments and central bank governors – has continuously emphasised the role of Inclusive Business over the past years. In 2015, its leaders issued the Call to Action on Inclusive Business  together with the G20 Inclusive Business Framework, which has subsequently been referenced by ASEAN and other organizations. The G20 also ran a series of workshops to help policymakers learn from each other’s experiences on the topic and invited companies to voice their opinions on inclusive business policy challenges. All of the results of the G20 activities since then, including a series of country case studies, are available in this section.

iBAN actively strengthens the inclusive business ecosystem and supports the implementation of the G20 framework for Inclusive Business, among others through its Capacity Development Programmes for policymakers in Asia.

Read the G20 key documents on Inclusive Business.


TTNET, Increasing internet literacy among low-income communities of Turkey


TTNET is the first Turkish firm to join the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with their commitment to broaden internet access and literacy training. Turkey’s largest internet company pledged to expand internet access and educational opportunities to remote areas in Turkey by 2015.

Recognizing that economic barriers to technology can hinder the growth and development of all income groups and broaden the socioeconomic gap, TTNET is working hard to change the landscape.

Medic Mobile


Health workers use Medic Mobile to register every pregnancy, track disease outbreaks faster, keep stock of essential medicines and communicate about emergencies. 

Peer learning forums


High-level conferences and forums can bring together decision makers from private industry, the public sector, and the donor community. Practitioners – particularly those from local businesses in developing countries – have few opportunities to step outside their day jobs to exchange insights and experiences with one another. They value direct, peer-to-peer learning about what is and isn’t working in the field of inclusive business.

Case Example

Colombia:  Creating a network for learning around inclusive business

Research on models


Research on localized models for inclusive business can provide concrete guidance to companies looking to develop or expand an inclusive business model or activity. Much of the research to-date has been sponsored by donors.

Case studies can be used to provide companies with examples of successful inclusive business models in a variety of sectors and locations. Similarly, sector-specific practitioner guides provide guidance and lessons learned to companies on how to develop and implement inclusive business models.

Award programs


A number of challenges and prizes have been launched as a way to showcase, identify, and promote innovative inclusive business models, which have potential for replication and expansion. Through these competitions, they stimulate innovation, showcase best practice cases for replication, generate support for acceleration or expansion, and build awareness around best case examples of inclusive businesses with high potential for further support.

Awareness raising within the BOP


While some products are widely available in BOP markets, other basic goods are largely unknown. As a result, BOP consumers can be unaware of their benefits. For example, BOP customers may be unaware of the connection between unsafe drinking water and various diseases. Consequently, inclusive businesses not only have to market their goods, they also have to conduct extensive education campaigns. This can often be prohibitively costly. Governments can help to raise awareness among the BOP, as they are often viewed as being more credible.

BOP market data


Companies often lack the market information required to enter poor communities. Little market research is available describing what people in these communities earn, spend and consume, and sometimes even the number of people living in an area is unknown. Governments can compile and share BOP market data, including data from household surveys or social security programs so that companies can identify and better understand BOP markets. Such information can also enable governments to develop a better understanding of the BOP market.

Financial Resources

Challenge Funds: Policy Case Study on Inclusive Business

“Enterprise challenge funds (ECFs) provide grants or subsidies with an explicit public purpose between independent agencies with grant recipients selected competitively on the basis of advertised rules and processes who retain significant discretion over formulation and execution of their proposals and share risks with the grant provider." ECFs invite companies working in a targeted field to submit project proposals for inclusive business models that aim to solve a specific development problem and generate high pro-poor impact.

Banco Triangulo, Brazil: Company case study


Executive Summary

Banco Triangulo S/A, or Tribanco, is a financial institution established by Sistema Integrado Martins (SIM), a group that assists more than 465,000 micro, small and medium retail shops throughout Brazil.

Itaú Unibanco: Banking the Unbanked in Brazil


Itaú Unibanco is the largest private bank in Brazil and one of the largest in Latin America. In 2011, it announced a microfinance operation aimed at micro-entrepreneurs in the metropolitan regions of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto Alegre. Its main goal is to address the needs of urban communities that lack access to formal banking with microfinance and microinsurance products.

Read the full BCtA case study (pdf).

Preferential Public Procurement: Policy Case Study on Inclusive Business


What is the objective and purpose of preferential public procurement?

Public procurement is the process by which government and public entities purchase goods, services, capital and technologies for their own or public use. Government is the largest single buyer of goods and services in most economies, with expenditures by governments often amounting to 20% to 30% of GDP.

Credit guarantees


Guarantees – a type of “insurance policy” protecting banks and investors from the risks of non-payment – have been a mainstay of financial markets globally for many years. They play an important role in helping the private sector make investments that promote growth and create jobs.

Priority lending programs


By encouraging financial intermediaries to carry out targeted lending programs, governments can promote access to finance for inclusive businesses. Priority lending programs can allocate a certain portion of a country’s total lending budget to a few key sectors or regions where inclusive businesses tend to be most active, such as agriculture, health, education, energy, water, and sanitation. 

Public procurement


Public procurement can represent up 20-30 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) of less developed economies. Sustainable public procurement (SPP) can provide a powerful tool to drive demand for goods and services that benefit BOP.[1]

Challenge funds and matching grants


Enterprise challenge funds award grants or subsidies through a competitive process to private sector organizations that submit solutions with an explicit public purpose. Companies working within a specific sector are invited to submit project proposals for inclusive businesses that aim to solve a stated development problem and generate high pro-poor impact. Challenge funds can trigger new ideas and innovative solutions or promote the scale-up or growth of existing solutions.

Credit facilities


Microfinance extends microcredit and financial services to the estimated 2 billion working-age people at the BOP who are unbanked or who have no credit history.[1] Affordable credit opportunities offer low-risk microloans that can be combined with support from trusted loan advisors to enable the BOP to make informed financial decisions. Such programs make financial products and services more affordable for the BOP and help consumers build credit history.

Insurance Programs


Insurance programs for the BOP empower them to participate in markets by protecting them against risks, such as illness, injury, damage, or loss. The BOP are often more vulnerable to such risks because they are less able to cope with the financial burden caused by unexpected occurrences. Despite this, the BOP are typically ignored by mainstream commercial insurers.

End-user subsidies


Subsidies are typically provided to stimulate demand for products that have socially desirable outcomes. In the past, subsidies on goods have often been provided to the companies that produce them. Governments are increasingly seeking to bolster market forces and stimulate competition among firms by providing subsidies directly to the products’ users. These kinds of subsidies may also drive user-oriented innovation and efficiency gains.


Certification and Accreditation: Policy Case Study on Inclusive Business


The policy instrument of a legal certification (also called accreditation) shares many qualities with the mission-oriented legal structure policy instrument developed in a separate policy note.  Legal structures and certifications both serve as tools to distinguish a business for its special character and contributions to society. They thereby create a basis for the provision of direct support, either financial or non-financial or both.

Legal framework for business with a social mission


Governments can support and facilitate social enterprises by acknowledging their special character and contribution. By officially defining “business with a social mission” as a form, the government creates a basis from which it can provide direct support for these enterprises.

Public-private partnerships


A public-private partnership (PPP) is a long-term contract between a private party and a government entity, for providing a public asset or service, in which the private party bears significant risk and management responsibility, and remuneration is linked to performance.[1] PPPs enable the public sector to mobilize additional financial resources and to benefit from the expertise and efficiencies of the private sector.

Legal framework for market participation of the BoP


A legal framework for market participation makes it easier for the BOP to take part in companies’ value chains. Policies that empower the BOP through the legal system include formalizing informal firms; granting official identification document; and ensuring low-income people and groups have the appropriate land titles.


G20 Policymaker Roundtable

As part of the 2nd Inclusive Business Asia Forum sponsored by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business (GPIB) brought together a range of policymakers for an inclusive business roundtable discussion. Officials welcomed the opportunity to share their experience with fellow policymakers in a closed-door session. Participants included G20 members and non-members representing foreign affairs ministries, investment bureaus, and bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs), and aid agencies’ country, regional, or headquarter-level offices.

Energisa Paraíba, Brazil: Company case study


Executive Summary

The mission of Energisa Paraiba is to transform energy into comfort and development, by offering its customers energy and social solutions (ENERGISA, 2015). Located in Paraiba state’s capital João Pessoa, the company focuses its efforts on engaging with vulnerable communities into economic development initiatives that promote income generation and employment.

Vitamine T


For the past fifteen years, André Dupon has pioneered an alternative to the state-subsidized job training programs as a way to cope with France's deep-seated structural unemployment. By creating a series of hybrid value partnerships between business and social enterprises that have a strong job creation feature, André has fitted a new paradigm in the fight against unemployment and social exclusion and changed the views of business leaders looking to set up or extend business operations in France.

Align business support services


Business development services (BDS) are a “wide array of non-financial services critical to the entry, survival, productivity, competitiveness, and growth” of BOP businesses.[1] BDS interventions can be an effective instrument for policy makers to support private sector growth in BOP markets. For inclusive businesses, BDS can be delivered in the form of operational and strategic business consultancies, skills transfer, marketing assistance, cost management, and technology development.

Development partnerships


Development partnerships are agreements between public and private sector entities to pursue a shared set of development goals. Ideally, such partnerships combine public sector outreach and resources with private sector entrepreneurialism and skills. Development partnerships, in contrast to the more traditional Public Private Partnership (PPP), are entirely voluntary, although the government can make such projects more attractive to private sector partners by offering incentives such as favorable tax terms, co-financing, infrastructure access, and policy changes. 

Training programs


Vocational skills are key to enabling the BOP to participate in value chains. Low productivity linked to the lack of marketable skills acts as a significant barrier towards inclusive business growth. In this context, vocational training is an important precursor to BOP participation and to inclusive growth.

Strategic Documents

G20 Leaders´ Call and Inclusive Business Framework

Leaders´ Call

In 2015, leaders at the G20 Leaders Summit in Antalya, Turkey issued a call to action to public and private sector representatives, international organizations and civil society to advance the ability of businesses around the world to integrate low-income people into their value chains. The leaders´ call resumes the commitments on inclusive business made by the G20 states and emphasises its importance for sustainable development.

G20 Inclusive Business Report for the 2016 Summit

G20 Inclusive Business Report for the 2016 Summit

Executive Summary  

  1. Inclusive business is at the core of the G20 agenda. These businesses harness market forces to integrate the base of the pyramid (BOP) into global value chains, thereby improving access to affordable quality products and services, enhancing productivity, and generating new income through decent work and livelihood opportunities. Inclusive businesses promote sustainable development in all its dimensions - economic, social, and environmental.

Canada: Country Case Study on Inclusive Business

Policymakers have expressed interest in learning from peers that have already begun to support inclusive business. To support this request for knowledge-sharing, the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business developed a series of short pieces that examine the motivations, institutional coordination mechanisms, priorities and challenges that countries face as they support inclusive business.

Innovating Together: Promotion Strategy for New Social and Inclusive Economy Models Abroad (Government of France)


In developing countries, current development models weaken the social and ecological environment. Poverty, exclusion, insecure employment, overexploitation of natural resources and pollution are all threats that compromise any hope of a earning a reasonable standard of living for hundreds of millions of people and put the future of our planet in danger. We urgently need to “act differently”. 

Colombia: Country Case Study on Inclusive Business

Policymakers have expressed interest in learning from peers that have already begun to support inclusive business. To support this request for knowledge-sharing, the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business developed a series of short pieces that examine the motivations, institutional coordination mechanisms, priorities and challenges that countries face as they support inclusive business.

Company Survey 2016

Inclusive businesses often struggle with challenging operating environments that can prevent them from adopting inclusive business models, replicating to new geographies, and reaching more people who live at the base of the pyramid. Effective and efficient inclusive business policies can help to overcome these barriers.