Caroline Ashley

Caroline focuses on how innovative economic models can deliver more inclusive and resilient development.

Caroline has worked on markets, business models and investment approaches that deliver social impact for many years in roles with challenge funds, impact investors, entrepreneurs, corporates, NGOs and policy makers. As Results Director of the DFID Business Innovation Facility, and Sida Innovations Against Poverty programme, she founded the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business in 2010, then took on hosting it, and acted as Editor of the Hub for 7 years before it transitioned into InclusiveBusiness.net managed by IBAN.

Most recently Caroline led economic justice programmes at Oxfam GB, before moving to Forum for the Future, to lead global systems change programmes to accelerate our transition to a sustainable future.

Finding finance for your inclusive business

Partnerships

Finding sources of finance for an inclusive business is a major challenge for many of the businesses that Business Innovation Facility engages with. If you seek finance but missed the Business Call to Action webinar on Lowering the Financing Barrier, you can still view it online here.

The webinar heard from African Enterprise Challenge Fund - a private sector fund backed by donors, operating across Africa - and from Acumen Fund - a non-profit venture fund that invests patient capital in several developing countries. The presentations clearly conveyed how the funds work, their scope, and the extent of business demand that is driving their growth. Click on the video to hear the whole event, download the Powerpoint presentations, or do both: a rewarding hour or so if you want to know more about these two leading funds.

For more ideas on how to secure donor funding, also check out April's Editor's Choice - a directory of donor programmes that partner with business, including 17 that provide finance of some kind.

Or going way beyond donor programmes, to learn more about the widening world of 'impact investing' (both for profit and non-profit), the Global Impact Investing Networkis a good introduction.

If you have tips and ideas for other businesses that seek funding for their inclusive business, please do share them.