Adding value to innovation? Lessons on donor support to inclusive business from the Business Innovation Facility pilot.

Abstract

This report, which is drawn from lessons arising from the Business Innovation Facility (BIF) Pilot, is aimed at anyone who has a role in supporting the development of inclusive business in a facilitative role. This will primarily be a donor or other public agency that is designing ‘private sector development programmes’, but it could also be an active investor, incubator, or non-profit that supports such businesses, particularly if deploying technical assistance (TA). It draws on what worked well and not so well in the BIF pilot, with the aim of providing readers with insights for effective support to inclusive business.

The report describes the two main tools used to support inclusive business – technical assistance and knowledge exchange. It explores the assumptions that underpin the BIF pilot approach: that technical support and knowledge exchange can assist companies on their inclusive business journey, and that company progress can deliver social goals at the base of the pyramid.

The report is structured to report back on the four assumptions that underpinned the design of BIF and were tested in the pilot:

  • Technical assistance (on its own, without finance) can help inclusive businesses move towards sustainability and scale
  • Hands-on support to businesses generates lessons useful to other practitioners developing inclusive business
  • Successful inclusive businesses deliver development benefits
  • The BIF pilot generates lessons about facilitating inclusive business that can be useful to other donor programmes

Citation

Ashley, C.; Harrison, T.; Schramm, C.; et al. Adding value to innovation? Lessons on donor support to inclusive business from the Business Innovation Facility pilot. Business Innovation Facility, (2014) 40 pp.

Adding value to innovation? Lessons on donor support to inclusive business from the Business Innovation Facility pilot.

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