Inclusive Business in Latin America

Which role do you think qualitative consumer researchers should have in order to promote Inclusive Business?


An inclusive business is a sustainable business that benefits low-income communities.

Large corporations traditionally target consumers in the middle and high-income segments of society, and established suppliers and service providers from the formal economy. Inclusive businesses find profitable ways to engage the low-income segment into their business operations in a way that benefits the low-income communities and creates sustainable livelihoods.

Inclusive businesses may engage low-income communities through, among other things, directly employing low-income people; targeting development of suppliers and service providers from low-income communities; or providing affordable goods and services targeted at low-income communities.

Inclusive business is not corporate philanthropy, which has inherent limitations of scope and budget. Rather, it is the search for sustainable business models that "do well by doing good" and have the potential to become part of the mainstream business model within the companies concerned - the key to business having development impact at scale.

As employees and suppliers, the low-income segments gain access to the formal economy; including provision of training, access to finance and income. As consumers, low income customers can benefit from products and services that meet their needs in an affordable way. If business does both, it opens up the virtuous cycle of business in development.
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