Katharina Münster

Katharina supports the Communication and Digital Innovation agenda of iBAN. 

Prior to joining iBAN, she gained working experience in development cooperation, public communications, and academia. Among others, she worked as a student assistant for the Asia-Pacific Research and Advice Network, drafted country reports for the Myanmar Representative Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation, and supported public outreach activities of the GIZ Programme for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains and Standards.

Katharina holds a master’s degree in International Relations from the Free University of Berlin, the Humboldt University of Berlin, and Potsdam University. In addition, she studied abroad at Sciences Po Lyon and the University of Reading, UK.

Two years of storytelling on Inclusive Business

Stories are fundamental. Over generations, they have made us what we. They help us convey meaning, form bonds, and make sense of the world around us. 

At iBAN, we are using stories to convey the meaning of Inclusive Business. With stories, we put faces to the abstract: the face of a dedicated woman taking medical products to ailing mothers, for example, or the face of a young man raised in the rice business and looking for solutions for smallholder farmers.  

Their stories show what Inclusive Business is about: bringing positive change to communities that need it. Often, they start with a bold individual – people like Dr Julian Omalla, for example, who lost everything during a war and started an inclusive business from scratch. Today, she is the CEO of Delight Uganda, which engages woman farmers to produce the most popular fruit juice in Uganda. “Supporting fellow women is my dream,” she tells us in her Impact Story. Like her, entrepreneurs in many countries and sectors are innovating to support people at the base of the economic pyramid. 

While most stories have a hero, the plot does not stop there. Few inclusive business founders are truly going it alone. Usually, there is a whole environment around them: friends, families, but also policymakers, investors, partners, and peers. “We want to bring everyone together for a good cause that gives back to society,” says Nur Diyana Sulaiman, co-founder of mentoring business Projek FEED in Brunei.  

How can such stories be told? At iBAN, we have been using two main formats over the past two years: the Inclusive Business Impact Stories and the Instagram channel Global Scale Up X. 

Global Scale Up X 

In cooperation with MIT D-Lab, iBAN launched the Instagram channel Global Scale Up X in 2021: a new community for female founders to connect, be empowered and scale up. The channel features inspiring stories from female founders around the world who have succeeded in raising funds for their business. These founders share their motivation for starting the businesses, as well as the challenges and the lessons learned from their fundraising journeys, from finding the right investors to overcoming gender biases as a woman.  

Through personal experience, they also give valuable advice and insights on scaling up businesses and leadership skills, such as negotiating, time management or how to build relationships with people, for other early-stage founders, especially those who are working in emerging markets.  

In addition to telling stories, we constantly update the channel with the latest news on funding opportunities, scholarships, workshops, accelerator programs, online courses and podcasts for entrepreneurs around the world. 

screenshot Global Scale Up X
Screenshot of Global Scale Up X

Inclusive Business Impact Stories 

The Inclusive Business Impact Stories, too, portray inspiring entrepreneurs. Both male and female, they work on two continents and in six sectors. 23 stories are already online, and two more are upcoming. 

Combining in-depth interviews and videos, the stories appeal to emotions and intellect. We have been working closely with the entrepreneurs featured to ensure the authenticity of their stories. All of them have been amazingly open, sharing their challenges and inspirations. 

While they are obviously very different, their stories also show how much they have in common. All of them share a deep passion for what they are doing: empowering people at the base of the economic pyramid. Their challenges, too, are often alike: Several of them have struggled to find finance, acquire the right talent, and scale in environments that are often hard to operate in. 

Through creativity and willpower, they have still managed to prevail. Like the heroes of all the good stories, they overcome adversities to reach their goal and change the world they live in. 

Get inspired by their stories!