América Latina y el Caribe
Brazil has an enormous number of citizens living at the base of the pyramid, which is implying the need of private sector development. A number of policies supporting pro-poor business models have already been implemented and Brazil started to put more effort into this topic under the inclusive business framework provided by the G20. In 2013, a Social Finance Task Force (SFTF), which comprises 20 organizations, including Brazil’s Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), investment banks, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector companies, has been implemented. In 2016, a new task force on inclusive business was set up by the United Nations Development Program and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE). Moreover, Brazil reduces the risks in rural activities which occur due to natural disasters through financial support to rural insurance schemes.
Find out more about Brazil’s motivation, institutional coordination mechanisms, priorities and challenges in terms of supporting inclusive business here.
Colombia addresses poverty alleviation and social equity promotion with its public policy. The national government has identified inclusive business as an important tool to reduce poverty. Colombia’s National Inclusive Business Council (CONNIC) aims to act as space for strengthening and structuring networks for inclusive business. It created and developed the National Strategy on Inclusive Business around eight objectives that address a variety of elements related to the promotion, identification, and monitoring of inclusive business cases. The creation of a platform of projects that meet inclusive business criteria is among these objectives. The platform website gathers and disseminates information on strategy, resources, and news related to the sector. Also included is the goal of establishing alliances with actors from a variety of sectors (public, private, and academia) in order to continue promoting inclusive business and to build closer relationships with sources of investment resources. Another critical area of coordination includes public policy and regulatory frameworks in which networks can coordinate and pursue policies that support and promote inclusive business adoption.
El Salvador has some social businesses, mainly in the agriculture sector. One example is Acceso El Salvador, which has joined Business Call to Action in June 2017. The company works with smallholder farmers, offers trainings, inputs and technologies, and provides access to high-value markets. The government tries to enhance access to finance for the poor by the “Fondo Nacional de Vivienda Popular” (FONAPIVO). This state-owned, national low-income housing fund mobilises resources and channels them to microfinance institutions.
Mexico’s population mostly lacks access to formal financial services, which harms the development of the country’s economy and is a reason for poverty. In order to tackle the problem, financial sector authorities allowed for more flexible account requirements which are increasing progressively. Through dialogues with Mexico’s Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) and its Financial Intelligence Unit, Unidad de Inteligencia Financiera (UIF), stakeholders were able to identify regulatory obstacles to the agent banking approach. These discussions allowed for the development of innovative approaches that might help both to enhance financial inclusion and to advance AML/CFT objectives. In order to support farmers, which also often lack finance and additionally are vulnerable to natural disasters, the state set up Agroasemex, a public institution which offers rural insurance and reinsurance products. It is both a national insurance organization and development agency that provides reinsurance for Mexican insurance institutions, mutual societies, and insurance funds.