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 developed by the Practitioner Hub, Asian Development Bank and Connect to Grow.
  3. SearchIB businesses: this lists companies with inclusive business models in Asia, developed by the Asian Development Bank.

Scope: what is covered and what is not, in the publications database?

The database includes more than 1,400 inclusive business reports, case studies, interviews, videos, guidance material and tools in English and Spanish and is searchable by topic, sector, geographical focus, resource type and key words. Topics cover a wide range of issues relevant to IB such as serving BoP clients, sourcing from the BoP, finance for inclusive business, women empowerment and results measurement and impact. The publications go far beyond those produced by the Practitioner Hub team, aiming to cover the most significant English-language publications on IB in recent years, and a good start to a Spanish collection.

The database does not cover publications that are about the private sector without reference to inclusive business, nor does it cover more general reports on the sectors (agriculture, health etc) at the BoP, which have no reference to inclusive business, unless they are deemed critical market intelligence for businesses. If you are interested to find out more about other related topics to IB such as impact investing, microfinance and market systems approaches, have a look at our listing of other useful links.

What is covered in the businesses database?

This beta version of the businesses database currently lists over 150 companies that engage people living at the BoP as consumers, suppliers, entrepreneurs and/or employees as part of their business model. The current listing only includes businesses in Asia and has been developed by the Practitioner Hub in partnership with the Asian Development Bank. Businesses are searchable by sector, country and topic. More businesses will be added over time and suggestions are welcome.

What is covered in the organisations database?

This beta version of the organisations database lists a range of organisations that support the development of inclusive business. The initiatives listed provide financial support and/or technical assistance to inclusive businesses. Inclusive businesses are diverse, and so too are the range of organisations that may help and the types of support they offer. The resources listed cover a continuum of financing solutions, from grants and concessional financing to commercial finance and private equity. They also include organisations and initiatives providing technical assistance (TA), advice, partnership brokering, information, advocacy, and networking.

More organisations will be added over time and suggestions are welcome.

How are the categories defined?

See our page on categories and definitions

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 IB space. Each organisation tends to posts its own material online, but until now there has not been a single comprehensive publications database on IB.

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.

How can you contribute?

Comprehensiveness and regular updates are crucial for the value and usefulness of any database. We have tried to cover as many relevant resources as possible and will scan the IB space for new entries but your help is essential.

1. If important publications are currently missing or you have published or found something new, let us know by submitting a new entry.

2. Provide your feedback on any individual publication to help guide other users. Provide your rating of individual publications by clicking on the stars under each publication.

3. We hope this database is useful for a wide range of people but need to make it better. Tell us what you think by sharing your feedback directly with us.