G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation

The G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation provided an opportunity to recognize companies around the world for their innovative, scalable business models working with low-income people in developing countries. Challenge winners were announced and showcased at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Mexico on June 18, 2012. They attended a high-profile event and were able to engage with other members of the inclusive business community.

Inclusive business practitioners often have few opportunities to exchange insights with peers in this rapidly evolving field. This challenge provided them with the opportunity to raise their global profile and learn from other thought leaders and models.

Fifteen winners were selected by an independent panel. The winners were chosen based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation
  • Development results
  • Potential for growth and replication
  • Financial sustainability
  • Environmental and social sustainability

G20 Challenge Workshop Series

The G20 Challenge was complemented by a series of regional workshops which provided the opportunity for winners to meet other stakeholders and thought leaders and develop new business relationships. The G20 Challenge workshop series was hosted by Germany and Saudi Arabia, with support from the United Arab Emirates and the Siemens Stiftung (Foundation).The regional workshops focused on how to scale and replicate successful business models.

The workshop series was launched in Berlin on September 19-20, 2012, at a meeting that convened around 100 participants. Challenge winners were able to meet with leading international businesses, investors and representatives of development agencies and governments. The objective was to showcase successful examples of inclusive business and encourage new business relationships in B2B and cross-sector working groups.

The Berlin workshop was followed by regional workshops in Asia, Latin America and Africa. On April 15, 2013, G20 Challenge winners met with more than 50 business leaders in Mumbai, India at a workshop within the framework of the Sankalp Unconvention Summit. The focus of the workshop was “Scaling Impact through Innovation.”

On June 5, 2013, more than 50 business leaders and experts attended the Latin America workshop held in Medellin, Colombia, based around the topic of “Scaling Up Finance for the Base of the Pyramid.” Participants discussed financing solutions that enable low-income people to be included in value chains.

The Africa IB Challenge Workshop was held in Nairobi on October 29-30, 2013. This B2B workshop with challenge winners and partners was a cross-sector forum with more than 150 representatives from the private sector, government and IB community.

Meet the winners of the G20 Challenge:

Representatives of the winning companies at the presentation of their awards at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico on June 18, 2012


Ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome, Executive Secretary of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the G20 Development Working Group presented awards to the following 15 winners of the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation at a ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico, on June 18, 2012:

Agrofinanzas (Mexico)

Agrofinanzas is a financial institution that provides financing to farmers and food producers in Mexico. Agrofinanzas’ clients produce 25 commodities, including sugar cane and sugar, cotton, coffee, cocoa, poultry, pork, and beef, and more than 80 percent of them had never received financing before.

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Apollo Hospitals Group (India)

Apollo’s Reach hospitals were created to make specialized healthcare available to people at the base of the pyramid. Reach hospitals operate in less-developed population centers in India—known as Tier II cities—and offer medical care at rates 20 to 30 percent cheaper than other major hospitals.

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Bakhresa Grain Milling (Malawi)

Bakhresa Grain Milling (BGM) Malawi is a flour producer that sells packaged wheat flour to commercial bakeries, small bakeries, retailers, and supermarkets. BGM seeks to improve the livelihoods of low-income people by supplying them with affordable flour and by helping them to launch small bakery businesses.

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Brilla, a program launched by Promigas (Colombia)

Brilla improves the quality of life of Colombians living at the base of the pyramid by lending them money for home improvements, to start microbusinesses, pay for schooling, and purchase appliances.

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Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios (Colombia)

To make higher education more accessible to people at the base of the pyramid, the university Uniminuto seeks out local public and private partners to help lower tuition fees and works with the government of Colombia to offer long-term student loans to people at the base of the pyramid.

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Ecofiltro (Guatemala)

The Ecofiltro is a safe, inexpensive, and ecologically friendly clay filter used to purify contaminated drinking water that can be assembled using local materials and labor. Most Ecofiltro customers had no access to clean water before Ecofiltro arrived in their homes.

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Engro Foods Limited (Pakistan)

Engro helps smallholder dairy farmers in rural Pakistan join the formal economy by deploying milk collection infrastructure and integrating it with IT solutions right at their doorstep.

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Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (India)

Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd. (JISL) is a company in India that manufactures irrigation systems and distributes them to smallholder farmers to help them improve their yields. Jain then procures farm produce from its own customers, benefitting from their increase in efficiency.

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Manila Water Company (Philippines)

In addition to charging inexpensive rates and accepting flexible payment methods, Manila Water Company also runs “livelihood programs,” which are specifically designed to improve the lives of people living at the base of the pyramid.

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Millicom (Luxembourg)

Millicom provides affordable, accessible, and available mobile services and solutions, including financial services, to customers in emerging markets in Latin America and Africa.

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Reybanpac Unidad de Lácteos (Ecuador)

Reybanpac helps combat malnutrition in Ecuador by providing affordable high-protein dairy drinks to people living at the base of the pyramid with milk purchased from smallholder farmers.

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Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers (United States)

Sustainable Harvest invests in helping coffee farmers improve their livelihoods and buys coffee from smallholder farmers at fair prices from Central and South America and East Africa for import to North American markets.

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Tenda Atacado Ltda (Brazil)

Tenda Atacado Ltda (Tenda) is a wholesaler and retailer that supplies food, toiletries, and household goods to people and microbusinesses at the base of the pyramid. In addition to providing affordable goods for sale, Tenda supports small businesses by extending credit to microentrepreneurs with no credit history.

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VINTE Viviendas Integrales (Mexico)

VINTE is a homebuilder in Mexico helping to address the shortage of affordable housing by building sustainable, affordable homes and by working with the government of Mexico on programs designed to enable lower-income customers to access housing finance.

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Waterlife India Private Limited (India)

In addition to providing safe drinking water to people living at the base of the pyramid, Waterlife also creates jobs by hiring and training operators from local villages to operate, maintain, and service the purification plants, and establishing a distribution network of local entrepreneurs to deliver water to the remote parts of the village via rickshaw or auto-rickshaw for a delivery fee.

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