Promoting innovative business models for a social and sustainable economy

Project Description

Title: Inclusive Business Action Network (iBAN)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU) (2017 bis 2021)
Country: Global. A priority area of the programme’s activities is in Cambodia, Nigeria and Zambia
Overall term: 2014 to 2022

Women processing fruits in India.


The importance of inclusive business has increased worldwide. Inclusive business models are not only profitable, but also simultaneously improve the lives of people surviving on less than eight dollars per day, since they provide them with access to essential products and services or to new income opportunities. Women in particular benefit from this, as they are more greatly affected by poverty and its impact.

Despite the advantages of inclusive business, there are only a few isolated examples of applications that have proven successful. This is due to a series of systemic barriers.


The preconditions for expanding inclusive business have improved and companies are increasingly implementing inclusive business models.

Potato plantation, Kenya.


In order to assist companies directly, the project develops training courses and cooperates with partners to make them accessible. Between 2019 and 2021, together with Impact Capital Africa in Zambia and Impact Investment Foundation in Nigeria, it helped 61 inclusive business companies to present their business models to potential investors and improve their access to capital as a result. Two online courses also share the knowledge with a wider audience.

In addition, the project supports governments in partner countries in improving framework conditions and developing appropriate incentive systems for inclusive business. Cambodia, in particular, has become a pioneer thanks to this assistance. The project also promotes South–South dialogue between African and Asian cooperation partners, bringing about systemic changes with a long-term impact.

The project also improves access to a range of digital information, knowledge and training solutions. One central component of this is, the largest global knowledge platform on inclusive business offering content such as the online magazine CLUED-iN, an investor and technical assistance database, and audiovisual impact stories.

Last update: August 2022

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Additional information

Additional information