There is a growing interest in the contribution that "inclusive business" models can make to Africa's development. By virtue of their strong commercial underpinning, these models offer to create long-term opportunities for poor people at a scale not possible through traditional philanthropic CSR, or even aid. Including smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in corporate value chains is a particularly powerful example of this (see for example SABMiller in South Sudan and The Coca-Cola Company in East Africa).
In practice, a common challenge in scaling inclusive business models is the fact that most small and medium enterprises find it difficult to access the funding they need to enter into corporate value chains. In May 2011, we co-hosted an event in Cape Town, exploring this issue, with the Business Call to Action, UNDP African Facility for Inclusive Markets, the International Finance Corporation, the International Business Leaders Forum and the World Council for Sustainable Development.
The report from this event is now available for download. Please let us your thoughts on the challenges and solutions around the enabling small business access the value chains of large ones.