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Creating jobs through skills development: Lessons from BCtA

November 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

For most people living on a few dollars a day, a job or entrepreneurship opportunity is one of the surest ways out of poverty. But finding a job is not easy. Millions of people are excluded from the workforce because they lack the skills, or the means, to find work in the formal sector. A key challenge ... (more...)

The positive role of governments in inclusive business

October 8, 2014 in Uncategorized

Government regulations are typically seen as a barrier to business in base of the pyramid markets. But the Business Call to Action’s report Breaking Through highlights a number of cases where government support is helping inclusive business start-ups to quickly reach scale. Datawind is an Indian company ... (more...)

Listening to customers is critical for success

July 4, 2014 in Hub-Blog

Listening to customers and understanding their needs is a critical part of any inclusive business development. Many of the organisations supported by Sida’s Innovations Against Poverty programme are in this stage of listening to and learning about customers living at the base of the pyramid (BoP). ... (more...)

Is inclusive business pioneering the clean-tech solutions of the future?

June 9, 2014 in Hub-Blog

We often talk about how inclusive business can improve the lives of poor people in a sustainable and dignified way, but what about its potential to pioneer low-carbon solutions? The initiatives supported by the Business Innovation Facility and the Innovations Against Poverty programme highlight a range ... (more...)

April 2014 Editor’s Choice: Disrupt or be disrupted: how business models are transforming the world

April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

“Disrupt or be disrupted”. That’s one of the key messages in a new report by SustainAbility looking at business model innovation. In particular, the report focuses on innovation in the context of sustainability and how different game-changing innovations are being born from the pressing need for ... (more...)

When does ‘innovative’ business become ‘unconventional’?

April 1, 2014 in Hub-Blog

Innovation is at the heart of inclusive business, but when does ‘innovative’ become ‘unconventional’? How about when it delivers something unusual, like breeding insects for human consumption? That’s the focus of Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) grantee ICCO, who is developing a whole value ... (more...)

Top lessons for donors from IAP

March 10, 2014 in Uncategorized

Programmes such as Sida’s Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) are a learning journey for donors as much as it is for the businesses they are supporting. So as much as there are insights for business, there are lessons for donors and grant makers as well. Here are five top lessons for donors that emerged ... (more...)

Enough with the success stories…what about the failures?

February 18, 2014 in Hub-Blog

When it comes to starting a social enterprise, things rarely go to plan. This was the key finding in our review of the Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) portfolio last year, and is echoed in the recently released Business Innovation Facility (BIF) findings. Yet most of what we read or see about companies ... (more...)

Systemic impacts starting to emerge from the IAP portfolio

November 11, 2013 in Hub-Blog

Systemic impacts are the ultimate goal of almost any donor-funded initiative that supports business in development. In the case of IAP, that means that Sida’s money not only supports the individual inclusive businesses that receive grant funding (helping them to reach the poor with their products, ... (more...)

Forging new markets: the experience of IAP-supported companies

October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized

A number of years ago, a partner and I started up our own business. I remember the challenges of those early days: researching the market, developing business plans, trying to get funding from the banks, finding suppliers, trying to attract new customers and fending off the competition. Starting a small ... (more...)