WBCSD inclusive business news & updates - Early 2017

Here is a brief collection of inclusive business related news & insights from around the world, gathered over the first two months of the year. Feel free to send us your news and updates anytime!

Thank you for your ongoing interest and participation in our work. 

Karolina Södergren
Associate, Social Capital, WBCSD

Published: 7 Mar 2017
Author: Karolina Södergren
Type: Insight

WBCSD news
WBCSD at Fundacion Codespa’s Inclusive Business Conference
WBCSD participated in the Inclusive Business Conference organized by Fundacion Codespa in Madrid on 22-23 February 2017. With the official title “A practical look at Inclusive Businesses: What are the principle challenges and how can they be overcome”, the two-day event featured numerous presentations by corporate, governmental and non-governmental actors – all uniting under that practical banner, sharing real-life perspectives on current challenges and solutions for moving forward with the IB agenda globally. WBCSD’s Karolina Södergren shared our insights into the important alignment between the inclusive business and the SDGs agendas.

License to Innovate: Breakthrough Strategies for Social Impact – Report now available in Japanese
Why and how are companies developing and integrating business solutions with social impact into their core business? What are the successes and failures of early movers? What are some of the strategic considerations to keep in mind? These are the key questions addressed in the joint WBCSD-Deloitte report, originally issued last year. This report is now also available Japanese, with a view of supporting Japanese companies in actively pursuing social innovation as a means to achieve greater long term sustainability, financial growth, and social impact. Watch this space, as the Spanish version of the report will be released in the coming weeks.
News from around the world
Insurance groups see opportunity in India’s demonetization move
Financial Times, 6 February 2017 – India’s radical experiment in demonetization is providing an opportunity for international insurance groups to reach a new customer base that has long proved elusive.

How pharma can fix its reputation and its business at the same time
Harvard Business Review blog, 3 February 2017 – According to Damiano de Felice, deputy director of strategy at the Access to Medicine Foundation, one antidote to the challenges facing the pharma industry (low return on R&D investments, low public reputation) is to transform "access to medicine" from a relentless activist slogan to a fully-fledged business strategy. In his view, this approach will tap potential growth in emerging markets, limit the risks of misconduct, and improve public trust in the industry.
How inclusive businesses can tackle poverty in China
Stanford Social Innovation Review, 5 January 2017 – The tide of China’s recent economic boom hasn’t lifted all boats. But inclusive businesses can help provide sustainable solutions for China’s vast impoverished population.

Customer intelligence revolutionizing business at the base of the pyramid
For businesses selling products and services at the base of the pyramid, understanding low-income consumers and the choices they make is critical to meeting customer needs, boosting sales, and delivering real value. In partnership with Acumen’s Lean Data Initiative, The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business explores how new technology and Lean Data methods are efficiently capturing new insights and creating more customer-centric businesses.
Understanding consumer choices to drive sales and repeat adoption of nutritious products
The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business, 17 February 2017 – Marti van Liere (GAIN Alliance) and Lucie Klarsfeld McGrath (Hystra) share insights into why consumers choose to buy specific nutritious products, and how inclusive businesses in the nutrition sector are having to learn fast about what their customers want in order to effectively respond to local demand.
Training opportunities
Executive education on Inclusive business
The HEC Business School, Ashoka and Hystra are holding an Executive Education Program on inclusive business and value creation that provides a unique and comprehensive package to prepare corporate executives in charge of designing, launching or scaling inclusive business projects. The program is offered twice a year. In 2017, the first session is taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 22-27 May. The second session will be organized in France later in the year.
Tools & studies

The Inclusive Innovators
A report from the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) at The Fletcher School at Tufts University applies the strategies, lessons, and insights from well-known global companies to identify ways businesses are joining sustainable business with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The report identifies 10 essential questions every company will need to address as it integrates SDG strategy with core business strategy and includes case studies on over 20 global companies, spanning a broad range of industries, including Coca-Cola, MasterCard, Barclays, Olam, Microsoft, Unilever, and Starbucks, among other multi-nationals. By examining these companies, similar businesses can identify how to engage with the SDGs in ways that will most benefit their bottom line as well as the base of the pyramid.
How can companies and market systems development programs engage effectively?
Companies and donor programs increasingly work together. But why do such collaborations prove hard, and what lessons can be drawn for each party? This Business Innovation Facility report outlines ten concrete examples of business and donors working together, structured into the following sections: understanding the context, establishing relationships, and making practical considerations for implementation.
Decision-making tool for inclusive business partnerships
Partnerships play a critical role in inclusive business, but also involve risks and sometimes high transaction costs. This tool is designed to help companies assess the value, risks and implications of a partnership, thus assisting with sound decision-making.
Marketing nutrition for the Base of the Pyramid
Access the recordings from The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business’ latest webinar series “Marketing Nutrition for the Base of the Pyramid”. Whilst the first webinar focused on building demand for and repeat usage of nutritious foods, the second addressed effective delivery channels and ensuring business viability of nutrition enterprises.

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