We unpack complex value chains and develop inclusive, practical solutions ensuring those who live in rural poverty can benefit from enterprise, recognising they are customers, producers, and entrepreneurs. We design for resilience - for the people, businesses and systems.
About 90% of these farmers lack strong, consistent relationships with buyers, access to finance, inputs, agronomic training and other support. We find market-based solutions for these farmers which enables us to assist in addressing global food security, climate stability, biodiversity conservation and gender equality while simultaneously creating sustainable rural employment.
Business for Development is channelling markets to support this underserved, marginalised population and is focused on the creation of income earning opportunities in partnership with governments, businesses, investors, multilateral organisations, communities, and non-government organisations.
WHAT IS INCLUSIVE BUSINESS?
An inclusive business is a sustainable business that benefits low-income communities. It is a business initiative that, keeping its for-profit nature, contributes to poverty reduction through the inclusion of low-income communities in its value chain. In simple words, inclusive business is all about including the poor in the business process be it as producers, entrepreneurs or consumers.
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development
HOW WE APPROACH IT
The principles underlying our approach reflect our organisation's principles. We take an entrepreneurial and sustainable approach by questioning assumptions, listening closely to all stakeholders involved, considering current ecosystems and bridging sectors, and taking measured risks to develop sustainable solutions.
Taking a human centred design approach and being genuine, grounded and practical increases the likelihood of communities adopting new concepts and driving the changes needed to reduce poverty.
As implementers we know what it takes for a project to come alive on the ground and transform the status quo across multiple facets. Our projects enable transformation at a personal, community, business and even country level. Seemingly intractable issues span entire systems - we are systems thinkers and know new systems and thinking catalyses change.
1 / Feasibility
The first step is understanding the needs of the community and individuals - we do this by undertaking research through site visits, household economic surveys and stakeholder engagement. Early engagement with the community is critical to ensuring their aspirations are understood and considered as part of the project design.
We then identify the intersection between feasibility, desirability and viability:
What can be produced in the local environment?
What does the community want to produce?
What products have sufficient market demand to support a financially sustainable enterprise over the long-term?
We take a test-and-learn approach through field trials to determine the best product options to take forward, reducing risk to community members involved in the project, funders and other project partners.
2 / Implement and grow
Once a proof-of-concept has been established the next phase is project implementation. This phase includes:
Improving production practices
For example, training farmers on good agricultural practices and soil management, diversifying crops, providing access to higher quality inputs (e.g., seeds, fertilisers, livestock medication), improving herd management practices.
Developing the business model and governance framework
This may involve creating a community-owned enterprise to improve bargaining power, create economies of scale and facilitate contractual arrangements. Other activities include developing governance frameworks, capacity building and recruiting oversight/management teams to ensure the enterprise is sustainable and independent over the longer term.
Creating market linkages
A critical element of our approach is creating market linkages for the commodities produced by the community members. We take a demand-driven approach to production, ensuring commodities produced match the quality and quantity requirements of end buyers.
Establishing support services
Support services may include technical support/extension services, logistics, finance and financial training.
Building the ecosystem
We partner with a range of organisations, government entities and specialists to achieve our purpose, as we recognise that lasting impact can't occur without a local ecosystem of support.
3 / Transition
Capacity building is integrated throughout our project methodology and is vital to ensuring the enterprise can become self-reliant and sustainable over the longer term.
B4D's involvement gradually shifts from hands-on implementation to a consulting and advisory role as the community becomes more capable and empowered.
4 / Sustain
Once an enterprise is self-reliant with an ecosystem of partners in place to ensure its long-term sustainability, B4D's role becomes more focused on advising, monitoring and evaluating.