ProjectTackling Barriers to Scale: Inclusive Ecosystems

Project Context

Inclusive business offer great promise: to enable business growth and economic opportunity for people living in poverty. Yet while companies – as well as donors, development banks and other players – have put much effort into creating such models, relatively few have gained significant scale so far. The operating environments for inclusive business are challenging, with significant gaps in the institutional, informational and infrastructural conditions required to make markets work. Successful inclusive businesses take a broader approach, strengthening the whole ecosystem around them.

Project Objective

The project aims to better understand how companies strengthen the ecosystems around them in order to get to successful inclusive businesses. Existing case studies describing relevant examples are being identified and analysed. Three cases are examined in depth on the ground. Insights from the research shall help companies in taking a more strategic approach to strengthening inclusive business ecosystems.

Project Output

The project output was the following:

  • A background paper based on the desktop and literature research that identifies the strategies and structures used to strengthen inclusive business ecosystems. Three structures are identified: private initiative, project-based alliance, and platforms.
  • Three in-depth case studies based on field research in Tanzania. Cases exemplify each of the three structures. Each case also observes various combinations of structures.
  • Sumitomo Chemical uses private initiative to spread the use of its mosquito net technology and help roll back malaria.
  • BASF and GIZ have formed a project-based alliance, the Strategic Alliance for the Fortification of Oil and Other Staple Foods (SAFO), to strengthen national platforms around food fortification.
  • The Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) is a platform initiative to coordinate investment and rural economic development in Tanzania.

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