Inclusive business at scale: What are the solutions to overcome internal barriers?

Companies of all sizes are actively testing and rolling out inclusive business models, but relatively few of them have achieved their full potential of improving livelihoods and companies’ economic bottom line. What are the solutions that can help companies scale up inclusive business ventures? In our latest issue brief here at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), we zoomed in on the internal organizational barriers large companies face when trying to scale up inclusive business. However, we did not limit ourselves to highlighting problems, but also identified solutions that have been put in place by the WBCSD members to overcome those barriers.

Published: 7 Nov 2013
Author: Filippo Veglio
Type: Insight

The issue brief, titled Scaling up Inclusive Business – Solutions to overcome internal barriers, features insights from CEMEX, Grundfos, ITC, Lafarge, Masisa, Nestlé, Novartis, Novozymes, SABMiller, Schneider Electric, The Coca-Cola Company, andVodafone. 

The brief organizes the range of possible internal organizational barriers to scale up inclusive business into three main categories:

  • opportunity cost of investment
  • strategic and operational misalignment
  • capability gaps

For each of these three categories of barriers, the brief describes a range of solutions (a dozen in total) illustrated by company examples – from obtaining the support of senior leadership and establishing centers of excellence, to bringing core capabilities in-house, adjusting performance targets and quantifying the total value created by inclusive business ventures.

This piece is a contribution to Action2020, the WBCSD platform for business to contribute solutions to environmental and social challenges.

Click through this slide show for a brief overview on our findings, and please feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions or comments.


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