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UNDP expands Global Network of Research Fellows (Bratislava, 15 July 2009)

The ”Growing Inclusive Markets” Initiative is expanding its network of developing country Research Fellows commissioned to investigate and write up 50 case studies of inclusive business models across regions, sectors and types of companies. From July 13-15, UNDP gathered 28 Southern academics in Bratislava, Slovakia, to kick-off an intensive case study writing process to be undertaken over the next five months in the Research Fellows’ home countries.

This pool of 28 highly qualified Research Fellows covers 20 countries, including Senegal, Sudan, Iran, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Kyrgyzstan, to name a few, and represents renowned institutions such as the Lagos Business School in Nigeria, the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, and the American University in Cairo. This pool of local academics will complement the first wave of 18 Research Fellows hired in 2006 to produce the first case studies of the Initiative.

From July to December 2009, these Research Fellows will be examining opportunities, challenges and solutions for doing business with the poor from the perspective of small, medium-sized and large companies operating locally, nationally and internationally, with the following research questions in mind: How is value created and distributed? Who creates and distributes value, and how? What value is created and distributed?

By early 2010, the “Growing Inclusive Markets” initiative will have produced around 100 short descriptions of inclusive business models across 40 countries, more than 100 full case studies, short videos clips, synthesis notes analyzing patterns according to different variables, and a specific report on inclusive business models in Eastern Europe & the CIS. Beyond these tangible outputs, important expected outcomes of this research process will include capacity building and joint creation of knowledge about inclusive business models, the expansion of a network of inclusive business researchers around the world, and concrete action inspired by cases.