201712
Reflecting on inclusive business - progress and what is next?
December 2017 Blog Series

GRAPHIC SUMMARY

A visual summary of progress our contributors think has been made in inclusive business and on what is next. Learn more about these aspects by reading this edition of the online magazine on inclusive business! The illustration was developed by Christopher Malapitan, a visual practitioner and trainer based in Brussels. Through the use of visual storytelling methods he empowers individuals and organizations to “see” what they mean.

Publication Date

editorial

In the burgeoning inclusive business space, some core questions remain

What progress are we really making in inclusive business? And what's got to change in 2018 to realise the promise? 

Caroline Ashley

Table of contents

graphic summary

GRAPHIC SUMMARY

A visual summary of progress our contributors think has been made in inclusive business and on what is next. Learn more about these aspects by reading this edition of the online magazine on inclusive business! The illustration was developed by…

editorial

In the burgeoning inclusive business space, some core questions remain

From the Practitioner Hub’s inception in 2010 to now, Founding Editor Caroline Ashley has seen inclusive business grow and evolve. As she steps down from her editor role this month, she reviews the contributions from this month, and a few from years gone by, to reflect on the essential questions that remain : How much impact is good enough? What is needed to drive scale? How can corporates successfully adapt their business models?

Caroline Ashley

featured story

Inclusive business - Quo vadis?

At the end of the year 2017, we asked practitioners and thought leaders working in inclusive business for their personal opinion on the state of the sector currently and what they think is in store in 2018 and beyond: We asked what is going well, what is missing, and where inclusive business is going next. Read the short answers of our contributors, to see why they think technology, environment, fine-grained impact, SDGs, investment, and much more are top of the list.

Inclusive Business Action Network

What do we mean by ‘inclusive’?

What do we mean by ‘inclusive’? An unwelcome but important question is posed by Harvey Koh, Managing Director of FSG, as he reflects on 11 years wrestling with inclusive models in Mumbai, he asks: 'What if an inclusive business model harms low-income people with unfair terms or discrimination? His answer: not blissful ignorance, but focus on building inclusive market systems, not just stand-alone inclusive enterprises.

Agribusiness: inclusive intentions, not yet core business

Joost Guijt focuses on 'inclusive agribusiness' and calls for more real evidence on how models work, to ensure smallholders really gain and businesses have enough information to take risks. Looking ahead to the ongoing transformation of smallholder agriculture, he also wants to see inclusive business linked to transitions out of primary production.

Progress but time to get more sophisticated in the detail

Armin Bauer draws on years crafting and investing in inclusive business deals inside the Asian Development Bank. Lack of clarity on social impact is one of the two big gaps he identifies, calling for a clearer focus on the bottom 40%, alongside more sophisticated shaping of deals.

Scaling business to tackle malnutrition - making progress but policy action needed

The policy context and role of government is highlighted by Ndidi Nwuneli, a social entrepreneur and investor in Nigeria. AACE Foods is an example of a business that is achieving signficant scale, sourcing from over 10,000 smallholders, while tackling malnutrition. But Ndidi highlights 2 key policy actions needed to unleash local sourcing at scale: incentives and infrastructure.

The Inclusive Business Space in Pakistan

Dr Iffat Zafar Aga, founder of Sehat Kahani, gives an upbeat assessment of how technology has unleashed a raft of inclusive businesses in Pakistan, but a candid view from personal experience of the collision between requirement of entrepreneurs and norms for women in Pakistan. More digital, fewer barriers are the way forward.

Creating a more inclusive agricultural sector in India

KC Mishra is founder of eKutir, which provides 'soil to sale' services to farmers, to create a connected non-exploitative agricultural market. In our exclusive interview, KC argues that such social enterprises can provide a key piece of the jigsaw going forward; partnering with farmers, designing around their needs, and partnering with corporates who lack such ability to differentiate and accomodate.

2018: Next Challenge for Inclusive Business in Nigeria

Progress so far in Nigeria

So far in Nigeria, the term “inclusive business” is not well known since most have come into it quite by accident.

Delivering on the Promise of Inclusive Business

Zahid Torres-Rahman, Founder and Director of Business Fights Poverty, argues that delivering the promise of inclusive business means taking it deeper into corporate, into commercial and operational teams. And where necessary, jettisoning the language of inclusive business. Alongside this deepening, wider and more agile partnerships are needed for scale.

Effectively Using Synergies among Public and Private Stakeholders to Advocate for the Implementation of Inclusive Businesses and Improve the Lives of the Very Poor

It is not the global but the national companies that are flagged by Markus Dietrich, senior advisor within the Inclusive Business Action Network. His priorities for the future include more support to national medium/large companies, clearer linkages with SDGs and alignment with the fast-emerging impact investment market. He also gives a great update on the growing policy support for inclusive business, seen for example in Filipino Government legislation and adoption of principles and commitments by ASEAN, APEC and G20.

Editor's Choice: The Best Blogs of 2017  

Finally, our Editor's Choice flag up the top blogs of the year, with the Hub team explaining why they are our favourites.