Britta Aßmann and Katharina Münster

Britta Aßmann (pictured) supports the Capacity Development Team of iBAN. She holds a bachelors degree in Media Studies (Economics and Sociology of the Media) from the University of Cologne. Currently she is studying for a Master's degree in Media Studies in Bonn.

Katharina Münster supports the Communication and Digital Innovation agenda of iBAN. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and Potsdam University.

Let’s start with some fascinating insights. Did you know that there is a market of 4.5 billion people at the base of the pyramid? Did you know that inclusive business (IB) can help you reach this market and secure your supply? You will find this and other insights in the new Introduction to Inclusive Business course! Curated by inclusive business experts, this online self-learner course offers free and easy access to all you need to know to gain a basic understanding of IB. What exactly is inclusive business and how does it work? How do low-income communities profit, and what’s in it for companies? Join here!

Back to the beginning: What is inclusive business and why should you care?

The Group of Twenty (G20) defined Inclusive Business in 2015: “Inclusive businesses provide goods, services, and livelihoods on a profitable basis to people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) making them part of the value chain of companies as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers.”

Companies with IB models come in many forms and shapes: They source directly from smallholder farmers, offer professional training to disadvantaged youths, or sell household products in rural Kenya. Simultaneously making profits and serving the SDGs, they create a triple win for the companies, the poor, and governments.

While IB models are profitable, beneficial, and resilient, few companies and policymakers are aware of the concept. This is where Introduction to Inclusive Business comes in.

Free and easy access to inclusive business knowledge

“We wanted to create a space where everyone could learn about IB – without having to pay or browse through tons of documents,” says Katharina Banz, Coordinator for Capacity Development at iBAN.

Her team has created an engaging self-learner course – curated by Inclusive Business experts and targeted at entrepreneurs, impact investors, policymakers, and the general public. Worldwide, it is the first openly available initial course on Inclusive Business.

In a playful and hands-on way, it answers the initial questions about IB: What do companies using this approach look like? How do they work together with the BoP, create social value and scale their business? And, just as importantly, what makes these companies financially stable? Also, learn how partnerships within the ecosystem can make inclusive business companies thrive.

A playful and hands-on approach

Introduction to Inclusive Business is a self-learner course; you can take it in your own time and according to your own schedule. Most learners take about three hours, though – just about the time you need to watch two football matches on TV.

While there is no live teacher, we have taken care to make the course as interactive as possible. A virtual tutor guides you through the whole course, and virtual learning mates share personal stories. In addition, short quizzes help you consolidate your knowledge.

For those who want to learn more, the course provides easy access to further resources, practical examples and digital training for all kinds of IB companies. After the final module, a personalized certificate documents your newly-gained knowledge.

The course is currently available in English and Spanish, with a French version coming soon. In addition, a follow-up course focusing specifically on companies’ needs is in the making, introducing key tools for creating sustainable inclusive business models. A third course primarily for policymakers is planned as well, so stay tuned.

Join our Introduction to Inclusive Business course today!