The 4Ps of inclusive business: How perseverance, partnerships, pilots and passion can lead to success

Abstract

Success in inclusive business depends on getting the business model right. But so far there is little known about which business models work, how long success takes and what success looks like in practice. This report helps fill that gap, drawing on findings from the portfolio of projects supported by the Business Innovation Facility (BIF), during its pilot phase in Bangladesh, India, Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia.

Drawing on experience of providing substantial support to 40 companies, plus light-touch support to hundreds of others, the key elements of a business model that are needed for companies developing an inclusive business – which might be the whole, or part, of their business, are identified.The term ‘inclusive business’ is used to describe profitable, core business activity that tangibly expands opportunities for the people at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP), as producers, suppliers, workers, distributors, consumers – or as innovators.

The report comprises the following sections:

  • Section 1; Introduction
  • Section 2: Explores the components (jigsaw pieces) that are considered critical in business models for consumer-focused and producer-focused businesses.
  • Section 3: Depicts the inclusive business journey – why companies take a zigzag course for good strategic reasons – and 10 factors that can cause delay or even failure. Reflecting on what companies need to build the jigsaws and travel the journey, our 4 Ps emerge.
  • Section 4: Presents the commercial and social progress seen to date and the steep trajectory that is anticipated for future turnover growth and reach to the BoP.
  • Section 5: Draws out the implications of this report for other inclusive businesses.

Citation

Ashley, C.; Harrison, T.; Schramm, C. The 4Ps of inclusive business: How perseverance, partnerships, pilots and passion can lead to success. Business Innovation Facility (2014) 40 pp.

The 4Ps of inclusive business: How perseverance, partnerships, pilots and passion can lead to success

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