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New findings: how to bring inclusive industries to scale By Noah Rimland Flower / April 2014 / Leave a comment

There has been increasing interest around the world in the role that inclusive businesses, which engage and benefit the global poor, can play in the fight against the problems of poverty. However, disappointingly few of these have achieved the scale required to make a significant difference. An analysis of over 400 such firms in Africa showed that a mere 13% of them had begun to scale. Now, in Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scaleour colleagues at Monitor Inclusive Markets share new findings that explain why this is the case, along with recommendations for how these problems can be overcome. Their new report:

  • Describes the key scaling barriers that lie both within and outside the firm, and explains why they often cannot be resolved by the firms themselves
  • Spotlights the crucial role played by industry facilitators that are typically not themselves market participants but help to resolve key scaling barriers to the benefit of whole industries, not just single firms
  • Analyses historical and on-going cases where such business models are scaling or have scaled, to better understand the principles and practices that underpin effective industry facilitation
  • Explains that new risks that emerge even after scale has been achieved, and explores the challenge of mitigating those risks and sustaining scale (and impact)
  • Provides practical recommendations for foundations, aid donors, intermediaries, multilateral development agencies, impact investors, companies and host governments

Beyond the Pioneer is the culmination of a year of in-depth research into cases of industry facilitation and growth across Asia and Africa, in a range of sectors including financial services, energy, agribusiness and healthcare. It also draws on Monitor Deloitte’s own experience of developing market-based solutions to poverty on the ground in India, in sectors such as housing and safe water.

We hope you find this new work of interest, and look forward to hearing your thoughts and reactions.

This work has been made possible by the support of Omidyar Network, The MasterCard Foundation, Shell Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Global Impact Investing Network / Department for International Development (UK), The Rockefeller Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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