This inclusive business database contains a diverse range of resources that relate to and/or focus on inclusive business (IB) - meaning business models that engage base of the pyramid (BoP) consumers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and/or employees in low income and/or emerging markets.

The database has three separate searchable listings:

  1. SearchIB publications: this lists inclusive business publications from across the globe. This was developed by the Practitioner Hub, the Inclusive Business Action Network, and Ashoka.
  2. SearchIB organisations: this lists organisations that provide financial and/or technical support to inclusive businesses. This was founded by the Practitioner Hub, Asian Development Bank and Connect to Grow. A comprehensive review of this database was undertaken in 2017 by Endeva on behalf of the DFID Impact Programme.
  3. SearchIB businesses: this lists companies with inclusive business models in Asia, developed by the Asian Development Bank.

Background: why and how was the database developed?

Collaborating, innovating, asking hard questions and learning from others... these are the things that help make an inclusive business work. There is a considerable and increasing number of publications that share useful insights and lessons. Yet with practitioners, authors, projects and organisations scattered across the globe, it can be difficult for interested people to know what exists, where to start, and how to keep up-to-date on latest developments and publications in the inclusive business space. Each organisation tends to post its own material online, but until now there has not been a single comprehensive publications database on inclusive business.

The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business and the Inclusive Business Action Network have identified this gap in the market as an opportunity to add value to inclusive business practitioners by creating an online gateway to inclusive business publications of multiple organisations. The database of publications was generated over a few months in mid-2015 by a team from GIZ’s Inclusive Business Action Network, Ashley Insight, and Ashoka Mexico, Central America and Caribbean. The team drew on desk research, the original Practitioner Hub library and outreach to other organisations and authors.

The intermediaries section of the database was borne out of the difficulties faced by inclusive business entrepreneurs in accessing crucial financial and technical support. Even though such support has been available, it has been fragmented and hard to find. The Practitioner Hub and the Asian Development Bank set up this database to help overcome this challenge. The Connect to Grow programme supported further development of this database in 2016 to specifically include intermediaries in its target countries. In late 2017, the DFID Impact Programme funded the most comprehensive review and update of the database yet, which was implemented by Endeva. The Endeva team reviewed the categories and all existing entries, and also added hundreds of entries with the support of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. Technical aspects of the database will be further upgraded in 2018 to make it easier to use for entrepreneurs.