AVPN-IBAN-AVPA Webinar: Inclusive Business – Engaging the Power of Capital to Create Sustainable Livelihoods


Inclusive Business Webinar

Engaging the Power of Capital to Create Sustainable Livelihoods

Lessons from South-East Asia

According to the International Labour Office, nearly eight out of ten employed persons in Sub-Saharan Africa were in vulnerable forms of employment in 2015; 413 million were living on less than US$1.90. For decades, these individuals at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) have been perceived by entrepreneurs and philanthropists across Africa and the globe as silent economic victims, passive recipients of charity and undiscerning consumers.

A paradigm shift is now afoot. In August 2019, Palladium announced a US$ 40 million impact fund for SMEs in agribusiness or off-grid clean energy setting the stage for a new wave of next-generation business and investment models that aim to create significant social change and provide real opportunities for the BoP. These Inclusive Businesses are companies which deliberately include poor and marginalised populations as suppliers, service providers and consumers. They are single-minded in their efforts to drive both commercial viability and sustainable development.

In this webinar, we heard from two successful Inclusive Businesses from Asia and learned more about how Inclusive Business, supported by robust policy, can unlock access to both financial and non-financial resources (e.g. technical assistance, mentorship, capacity building resources and pro bono legal advice) and expand opportunities for positive social impact.

Key Takeaways:

  • Access to affordable financing is a major obstacle which can be tackled if an enabling regulatory environment to attract private sector and impact investors is enabled by government policies. At wider macro economic level, partnerships between the government, the private sector and the development sector can be beneficial in catalysing capital for training and other capacity building and resource needs of inclusive businesses

  • Multi-sectoral partnerships can hugely benefit the growth of inclusive business but are dependent on clear alignment from point of inception.

  • At each stage of an inclusive business, the role that investors play changes, and so do the benefits they bring for the business

  • Networks such as AVPA and AVPN can help bridge gaps between different types of capital by educating and advocating, to support the growth of inclusive businesses

Please note that the Nancy Kairo‘s title was wrongly stated as Executive Director West Africa, AVPA. Her correct title is Executive Director East Africa, AVPA. Our apologies for the oversight.