Inclusive Business

We believe that successful inclusive business helps people in low-income communities gain greater access to goods, services and livelihood opportunities. For example, inclusive businesses help to provide employment for people, either directly or as suppliers, distributors, retailers and service providers. Companies can also supply affordable products to meet basic needs; and they can provide access to essential services and enablers such as energy, communications, financing and insurance. Inclusive business creates business and societal value in alignment with the SDGs.

The Challenge

Some three billion people live on less than US$3 a day and 1.5 billion people live on up to US$9. Together these people represent the base of the economic pyramid (BoP). They lack access to income-generating opportunities and to basic products and services including food, water, energy, financial services, housing and healthcare.

The Business Case

People at the base of the pyramid represent more than half of all consumer spending in developing and emerging markets. This is an untapped, US$5 trillion market. Inclusive business creates competitive advantage, encourages innovation, strengthens and secures supply chains, increases access to an appropriately skilled, more cost-effective workforce, and can reinforce a company’s reputation and license to operate.

The Business Solution

We engage business leaders across industries to increase action, gain greater insights, and overcome both internal and external barriers to scaling up inclusive business ventures around the world. We do this by collaborating with international organizations, government agencies and Global Network partners. Our work in the area of inclusive business is built around four pillars:

  1. Advocating business perspectives on key platforms and at events internationally;
  2. Illustrating best practices, lessons learned and success factors;
  3. Developing toolkits and training programs to support awareness raising and implementation;
  4. Identifying and brokering opportunities for member companies, in close cooperation with partner organizations.