Over the past 10 years various European intermediary organisations have developed Inclusive Business (IB) strategies towards Asian, African and Latin American markets. It has become evident that the availability and quality of specialized IB advisory services in these regions is vital. The Inclusive Business Accelerator (IBA) facilitates the acceleration of impactful entrepreneurship in base of the pyramid (BoP) markets by building a structure that supports delivery of substantial numbers of investment-ready inclusive business plans to improve the well-being of people at the BoP. At the same time, many advisors at local, national and international levels as well as NGOs offer business development services for companies wanting to include the BoP into their business models. Demand from companies for specialized IB advisory is growing, but they are easily lost among the range of offers. Similarly, donors face the challenge of whom to engage with in-country to support inclusive business directly.
A study into existing service standard frameworks, as a first step towards co-developing a strategy for building an accreditation system and global standard for efficient, good-quality and locally embedded inclusive business advisory services, or IBAS. The advisory services are to be recognized and supported by key stakeholders and donors at global and local levels. Ultimately, the advisory standard will support the development of stronger market linkages and improve the access to finance for inclusive business.
NewForesight gave a workshop to the Steering Committee and presented a clear overview of the major strategic questions that need to be answered in order to build an accreditation system or standards, including the content of the standard, the accreditation process, the revenue model, the focus and scaling governance.
The Steering Committee will use our input to develop the standard and accreditation system for inclusive business advisory services.