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 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.

New Spotlight compares inclusive business results across three portfolios

9. Dec 2014

I recently had a fascinating week comparing data and results across three inclusive business portfolios: the Business Innovation Facility pilot (2010-2013), Innovations Against Poverty pilot (2011-2013) and Business Call to Action (5 years old and on going). The data is based on years of rich engagement with 3 contrasting portfolios, each with an exciting - but different - array of innovative businesses.

IAP grantees were mainly start-ups trying to secure the right business model and start generating revenue; BIF-supported businesses were piloting and operationalising their models, seeking to boost cash-flow and approach profit; BCtA members are more established, with half already cash-flow positive.

In composite, this gives us a set of around 160 companies, which has no claim to be representative of the world of inclusive business, but has every value in adding to the meagre evidence base on what inclusive business is actually delivering. So from this diverse array of 3 portfolios, our latest Spotlight draws on data to explore:

- what annual revenues are typically being reached?

- what level of reach to people at the Base of the Pyramid are the businesses achieving?

- what trends and contracts emerge?


Download the Spotlight: Is Inclusive Business showing results?