Inclusive Business Models and their Ecosystems in Africa


The UNDP Growing Inclusive Markets initiative seeks to demonstrate how business can significantly contribute to human development by including the poor in their value chain as consumers, producers, business owners or employees (‘inclusive business models’). The GIM released two publications, the GIM Global Reports 2008 and the GIM MDG Report 2010, that highlighted best-practice inclusive business models, and the roles of different types of businesses and actors in creating them.

In the spirit of furthering the groundwork set forth by these publications, the African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM), supported by UNDP’s Private Sector Division and Regional Bureau for Africa, will develop a report based on the GIM initiative’s methodology. The report will be developed and written by Endeva and Reciprocity, consultancies based in Germany and South Africa respectively, both of which specialize in inclusive business model research.


Photo credit: Claudia Knobloch, 2011

Inclusive Business Models have the best chance for success when they are implemented within a strong ecosystem of actors and support.

This project aims to better understand the existing support ecosystems surrounding business models in Africa – and create transparency for companies operating on the African continent on what type of support they can attain, and from whom. For that purpose, a survey will take stock of existing support mechanism. In-depth case studies and expert input through qualitative interviews will further support the creation of knowledge on best practices and replicable solutions – and areas for intervention. Ultimately, this action-oriented project seeks to inspire and facilitate further collaboration between key actors – namely the private sector, donors, policy-makers, NGOs, investors, research and other support institutions – by delivering useable tools to practitioners: a written report, a series of inspiring case studies, and a searchable actor database.