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 ( 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.

iBAN’s 2019 in review

12. Dec 2019

Highlights of our work with the private sector in Africa

  • In a matchmaking event in October, iBAN and Impact Capital Africa (ICA) fostered investment offers with a total value of USD 1 million to Zambian companies.
  • In another matchmaking event, iBAN and Endeva supported Lifebank, a medical logistics company from Nigeria and Ekutir, a agriculture company from India to expand and replicate their business models to Kenya and Uganda. Stay tuned to our newsfeed to discover more details next year.
  • In collaboration with the Global Distributors Collective, we supported 9 companies who reach more than 2.2 million people to improve their financial sustainability through marketing and sales skills.  
Impressions from Impact Capital Africa's matchmaking event in Zambia © Impact Capital Africa

Highlights of our work with the private sector in Asia

  • Together with Grow Asia, we supported seven companies in their quest to increase their impact on farmers by 75% totaling 35.000 through inclusive business model design and development. The insights are summarized in the report Inclusive Business Models: Lessons from Grow Asia’s Experience
  • Also with Grow Asia, we put digitalization on the forefront of the inclusive business agenda. A six part Learning Series and a digital solutions directory for smallholder value chains reached more than 31 000 people during events and digitally on the internet.
  • Together with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, AVPN, we supported 147 companies across Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam with a programme on inclusive business and investment-readiness, culminating in the live deal share session at AVPN’s annual conference.
Impressions from the Digital Learning Series. © Grow Asia

    Highlights of our work with policymakers

    • In our work with policymakers, we supported governments and public institutions in Asia and Africa to launch policy instruments to foster and incentivise the uptake of inclusive business models.
    • The Second ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit in November was the highlight of, our programme supporting inclusive business policy development in partnership with ASEAN and UN ESCAP. Here 6 ASEAN member countries stated their committment to developing inclusive business policy instruments. In addition, a growing number of countries and private sector organizations are joining the movement. 
    • At a Policy Roadshow in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria, we discussed challenges faced in building a robust policy environment for increased social investment and inclusive business.
    • Finally, we also joined high-level conferences like the International Conference on the Emergence of Africa (CIEA), the UNCTAD Expert Meeting in Geneva and the Pact for Impact Summit to put inclusive business on the international agenda.


    Panel discussion at the first Inclusive Business Forum for Cambodia. © UNESCAP

    Highlights in the digital space

    • is established as a truly global platform with more than 6000 unique visitors from 160 countries per month.
    • We added new services to the platform including IB Choice, taking a deep dive into the publications most relevant to inclusive business and a self-learning space for managers and entrepreneurs to hone their business skills.
    • Visual storytelling has been integrated as a crucial element of our outreach strategy. This is a result of our qualitative user survey, the feedback from the iBAN blue Editorial Commitee, and the fact that entrepreneurs are seeking for well curated information that is in-depth and yet inspiring and hands-on. Examples for this new approach are this overview document on the online platform or articles that were published in other online media journals such as Next Billion
    • With 9 editions of the inclusive business online magazine CLUED-iN, we presented the perspectives of businessmen like Paul Polman and experts like Ashoka’s Bill Drayton on the most relevant trends and pressing challenges.
    • In collaboration with AVPN and UNESCAP we facilitated improved access to online knowledge on inclusive business through their new IB info pages.
    The online magazine CLUED-iN is published every two months and covers trends in inclusive business © GIZ. Visual by Christopher Malapitan.


    What's next?

    In 2020, we look forward to continuing our work in these strategic areas. You can expect

    • increased policy action in African countries,
    • cutting-edge investment readiness programmes for companies,
    • the launch of a new landing page
    • regular publications of impact stories from inspiring companies and
    • improved services on

    Complementarity and Collaboration will remain our guiding principles when working with existing and new partners. We will aim for more interactive, hands-on formats and visual content to support the people who make us tick: the inclusive business entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and managers who push their organisations towards a stronger focus on social impact.