Jeannine Claes
Jeannine Claes is an intern at iBAN and studying for a master’s degree in International Environmental and Development Economics at Leibniz Universität Hannover, after a bachelor’s degree in International Business and Business Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Before joining iBAN she worked as manager of a zero waste chain store.

Opening up the Inclusive Business Treasure Chest

Launch webinar of iBAN’s new e-learning course

Twenty years ago, Stuart Hart co-authored a seminal article on Inclusive Business. Since then, much has changed, as he explained at the launch webinar of our new e-learning course “Developing and Scaling Inclusive Business Models.”

20 years of “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”

In his keynote speech, Prof. Stuart L. Hart (University of Vermont) reflected on 20 years of Inclusive Business since he co-authored the seminal paper “Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid”.

Initially, he argued, most corporate initiatives at the “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP) had been focused on “business model innovation.” They lowered a product’s unit cost by changing product sizing, reduced costs by outsourcing production to developing countries or extended product distribution into slums and rural areas. During the last decade, many of these first-generation BoP ventures did not scale, and some of them even failed. 

Now, innovators are succeeding thanks to a more sophisticated and nuanced approach based on the idea of seeing people at the BoP as business partners. “Next generation thinking of BoP is … that you view those in underserved communities as partners. You engage in a two-way dialog because there is teaching and learning on both ends.” – Stuart L. Hart. 

The next generation of IB models will go one step further by integrating environmental concerns. They will attempt to make a Green Leap from poverty alleviation to sustainable development in all its dimensions.


Following the keynote, leaders from the IB ecosystem – Nadia Campos-Soriano (International Development Enterprises), Emile Schmitz (Bopinc), Saida Benhayoune (MIT D-LAB), Luciana Trindade de Aguiar (Business Call to Action), Mark Lundy (International Center for Tropical Agriculture), Fernando Casado (GlobalCAD), and Lucie Klarsfeld McGrath (Hystra) – gave an engaging presentation of six tools included in the new online course.

Learn more about iBAN’s new, interactive, and self-paced e-learning course

Launched on June 28, iBAN’s new e-learning course “Developing and Scaling Inclusive Business Models” is targeted at entre- and intrapreneurs, as well as intermediaries. Containing a treasure chest of 14 tools on inclusive business management and a deep dive on the Inclusive Business Features, the course offers a unique and comprehensive practical approach to learning and capacity building for sustainable businesses targeting the poor and low-income population.

In three modules, learners explore the IB Features, recognize the importance of partnerships and are introduced to fourteen IB tools in the IB treasure chest, which guide companies on their way towards an inclusive business model. Successful course participants receive a personalized inclusive business certificate after finishing the closing quiz.

Access the course here.