Insights Series 03: Partnerships for IB Development

Tackling poverty and improving food and water security are complex challenges that require multiple parties across nations and sectors to work together in order to reach solutions. The private sector is an essential partner in helping to address such challenges.

By involving low-income groups in their business processes, companies are seeking new ways of addressing business priorities while also hoping to offer greater value to such low-income groups. This form of cooperation is commonly referred to as inclusive business (IB).

Building up a company based on a more inclusive business model is, however, not easy. Market failures, limited understanding of low-income groups as clients or partners, etc. often limit the growth of such companies. Business is understandably wary of taking on such extra risks if there is not a clear business need or advantage.

To overcome these barriers, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are increasingly created to bring together the strengths of public and private parties and capture the opportunities that both parties prioritise but that no single party can achieve alone. Such partnerships aim to address economic and social development, alongside environmental priorities, in an efficient and business-like manner.

This third Insights Series publication provides key definitions and concepts needed to understand low-income groups (the Base of the Pyramid) and partnerships with inclusive business.