Side Event: Finding solutions for business constraints of Smaller Inclusive Businesses and Social Enterprises

Smaller inclusive businesses (IB) and social enterprises (SE) aim to provide, at scale, innovative and systemic solutions and create a tangible impact on a core problem of developing countries. In recent years supporting organisations, financial institutions and governments in developing countries have started to develop strategies supporting the growth of IBs and SEs. How can IB and SE companies overcome key challenges and obtain solutions to successfully run their business and create long-term impact after launching their business? One answer is directly connecting the smaller IBs and SEs with supporting and financial organizations to back their growth and expansion plans.

For unlocking solutions for the poor, more than 300 representatives of companies, SEs and governments gathered from 15th to 19th February at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for the 2nd Inclusive Business Forum for Asia in Manila, Philippines. In the line-up of the ADB Forum the Ready to Connect side-event of IBAN and SEED hosted at adelphi provided a platform for selected smaller IB and SE to get advice from a group of experts. The purpose of the side event was to discuss specific challenges they face and to develop new business relationships, together with peers and experts. Jointly implemented by the Inclusive Business Action Network (IBAN) and SEED, this needs-oriented event provided a unique opportunity to support IB and SEs in Asian countries in accessing suitable finance, scaling operations and broadening reach, making business financially more suitable, intensifying social impact by creating innovative and relevant solutions for the poor, and engaging with right partners.

adelphi was designing the event methodology and enabled the matchmaking between the participating organisations. adelphi also facilitated the dialogue event and contributed to the overall project aim to generate connections between support organisations and promising social enterprises. Through an interactive dedicated methodology the side event provided participants with the opportunity to work together in order to foster the spread of inclusive business models that combine significant potential with development impacts.