Policy as a worthwhile investment

How public and private actors can join forces to grow inclusive business

In Your Words

In Your Words

Snapshots from the IB Policy Roadshow

In August 2019, iBAN and the African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA) initiated a policy roadshow in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana to demonstrate the challenges faced in building a robust policy environment for increased social investment and inclusive business. During the roadshow, we asked people:

Why do you personally feel that an increase in social investment and good inclusive business policy must work hand in hand to solve our world’s most complex challenges?  

This is what they said!

Nancy Kairo


Patsian Low


Toyin Adegbite Moore


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"In this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, impact can be made by dealing with the often untapped market, by doing business beyond the usual. Inclusive business and social investments definitely co-exist in an ecosystem. The blend of social impact and commercial viability paves way for more opportunities to solve the most complex challenges in society. IB policy in the Philippines offers impact-driven solutions and gives importance to social investments in advancing societal solutions such as curbing poverty."

Inclusive Business Action Network
The Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN) is a global initiative supporting the scaling and replication of inclusive business models. Through its strategic pillars iBAN blue and iBAN weave, iBAN manages an innovative online knowledge platform on inclusive business (inclusivebusiness.net) and offers a focused Capacity Development Programme for selected companies and policymakers in developing and emerging countries. iBAN creates a space where evidence-based knowledge transforms into learning and new partnerships. With its focus on promoting the scale-up of inclusive business models, thereby improving the lives of the poor, iBAN is actively contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. iBAN is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the European Union. It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
Table of contents

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A visual summary of the key challenges entrepreneurs need to consider when it comes to policymaking and public-private cooperation for inclusive business. Learn more about these aspects by reading this seventh edition of the newly developed…



Dietrich explains how engaging with policymakers as an entrepreneur is constructive and fun, with a great risk/return ratio. After all, “inclusive business delivers financial return, inclusive growth, and systemic social impact—a win, win, win for business, government, and low-income people.”

Markus Dietrich

feature story

In the era of inclusive business, government is friend, not foe

To transform our economy and help inclusive businesses thrive, business and government cooperation is critical. In this CLUED-iN issue, policymakers, entrepreneurs and others share their thoughts on public-private partnerships and other forms of collaboration between the public and the private sectors. Governments can create an enabling environment for IBs and entrepreneurs can build social innovations that drive policy innovations. The magic is in the synergy!

Dana Gulley

What is inclusive business anyway?

As governments, investors—and even inclusive businesses themselves—are increasingly seeking ways to categorise business activity as inclusive or not, these soon-to-be-released operating guidelines can help stakeholders identify those companies that are “truly inclusive businesses.”

How responsible are ASEAN business entrepreneurs?

Dixie and Smaller discuss the ten issue-specific principles that ASEAN has released to guide investments in the region. They argue that entrepreneurs in the region should pay attention to these guidelines if they are to “access an ever-growing pot of responsible investment.”

In Sierra Leone, multi-sector pioneers are transforming financial systems that were built to exclude

Davie explains the impacts of financial exclusion on people’s livelihoods and the huge opportunity for financial inclusion through efforts like the Kiva Protocol, a pioneering public-private partnership to bring over 4 million unbanked adults in Sierra Leone into the formal economy.

Public-private engagement makes good policy—and good business—sense

Miller describes why policy engagement is crucial for inclusive business to thrive and shares the impacts of the Power for All campaign, which used policy reform to accelerate market growth for distributed renewable energy (DRE) in Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria.

Entrepreneurs wanted: how governments and the private sector can work together to build more supportive inclusive business environments

Marta shares the work of United Nations ESCAP, in partnership with iBAN, to identify policy opportunities in Cambodia to support the development of new and existing inclusive business models. She explains how and why IB entrepreneurs can benefit from engaging in these policymaking efforts.

Shaping the Philippine inclusive business landscape

Moleno gives insights into the Philippines' experience in IB policymaking. Both the country's private and public sectors have embraced inclusive business as an approach to poverty reduction and building an inclusive society. Crafting efficient inclusive business policies has led to positive reactions from the private sector. Moleno describes obstacles that had to be overcome and learnings for other countries.

Scaling catalytic business and policy innovations to take a bite out of food waste

Sir Gordon Conway, member of the Malabo Montpellier Panel, discusses the impacts of global food waste and offers examples of catalytic business and policy innovations that—if replicated and scaled—could mean massive reductions in hunger and poverty, not to mention methane emissions.

Pact for Impact: A global coalition where social innovation inspires ambitious, agile policy

According to High Commissioner Itier, “social innovation means public innovation.” This is why he has helped form a coalition of governments, enterprises, investors and civil society to more quickly transform the traditional economy to be more social and inclusive.

In Your Words

Policy experts share inspiring insights and best practices on inclusive business policies during the iBAN policy roadshow in Nigeria and Kenya