Introduction to Inclusive Business

Presented by iBan
AVPN Faculty · September 30, 2022

Module type:

This is a self-paced course by the Inclusive Business Action Network (iBan) Please note that you will be directed to iBan’s website and you will need to sign up for a Moodle account to access the course modules.

This course is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, French

About this module:

If you are new to the concept of Inclusive Business, we strongly recommend that you take the Introduction to Inclusive Business (IB) module at the iBAN Learning Centre to familiarise yourself with the key IB principles.

This general introductory course imparts basic knowledge on inclusive business, its definition and features.

The course also sets the parameters of the IB target groups and how they are involved in the value chain. It outlines the different sectors where the BoP is engaged, identifies different IB approaches and illustrates the inclusive business ecosystem. Overall, the intro course makes the case for inclusive business and highlights IB’s positive impact on the SDGs. This course is for impact entrepreneurs and managers, policymakers, impact investors and the general public who want to gain a basic understanding of inclusive business and how it relates to business development, social impact and impact investment.


  1. Introduction and course instructions
  2. What is Inclusive Business?
  3. What makes an Inclusive Business inclusive?
  4. Who supports Inclusive Business?
  5. Who benefits from Inclusive Business

Learning objectives:

  • Develop a deep understanding of what Inclusive Business is
  • Recognise the relevance of Inclusive Business for companies, investors, policymakers, and low-income communities.

About Instructor


The Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN) is a global initiative supporting the scaling and replication of inclusive business models, with a focus on knowledge sharing and capacity building.

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Module Includes

  • 1 Lesson

Inclusive Business

Companies may choose to adopt an inclusive business model or approach that provides goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis to people living at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Depending on the nature and size of the organisation, companies can do this by directly incorporating the BoP in their core value chain, or by piloting inclusive business initiatives through their corporate impact efforts.

Adapted from: Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN)


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Creating Shared Value Through Inclusive Business Strategies

By CSR Asia

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This paper by CSR Asia outlines how inclusive business (IB) strategies can create shared value and walks through practical steps companies can take to develop an effective IB strategy. It makes a case for inclusive business and demonstrates how companies can leverage aspects of their value chain to create opportunities for low-income communities. You will also find a number of case studies from around the Asia region.

Corporate Foundation

Corporate foundations (or company-sponsored foundations) are philanthropic organisations that are created and financially supported by a corporation. The foundation is created as a separate legal entity from the corporation, but with close ties to the corporation. Corporate foundations tend to make grants in fields related to their corporate activities or in communities where the corporation operates, or where their employees reside.

Source: Council of Foundations

Learn more about Corporate Foundation

Corporate Social Impact Accelerator

Companies may establish Social Impact Accelerators to help enterprises looking to address a social problem over an extended period of time with a mix of financial and non-financial support, including seed funding, mentorship, training, networking and working space.

Learn more about Corporate Social Impact Accelerator

Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is any formally organised support or encouragement from companies to leverage employee time, knowledge, skills or other resources to support impact organisations. Employee engagement can vary from corporate volunteering (hands-on or skill-based, virtual or on-site volunteering) and/or corporate giving (payroll giving, employee matching) to co-investment programmes.

Source: EVPA, 2018

Learn more about Employee Engagement

Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to strategies that companies put into action as part of corporate governance that are designed to ensure the company’s operations are ethical and beneficial for society. These may include initiatives to support the environment, fair labour practices, philanthropy and/or sustainable business practices.

Adapted from: Corporate Finance Institute (CFI)

Learn more about Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate Impact Fund

Corporate impact funds enable companies to make investments that are aligned with and amplified by their strategic priorities, market position and resources in order to generation measurable and mutually reinforcing social, environmental and financial returns and outcomes.

Adapted from: Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), 2021

Learn more about Corporate Impact Fund