Business For Sustainability: Imperatives For Inclusive Ventures

We are passing through exciting times as a civilization. The world today is connected via second screen. We have conquered new technology verticals ranging from nano-engineering to biology to even space travels, which is not a distant reality either. Technology, indeed, continues to play a pivotal role in shaping – and reshaping – the way we go about in this world.

As exciting as the above words may sound, I’m also aware of the alarming rate of wealth inequality that continues to plague the world today. Nearly 2.7 billion people live below $2 a day – that’s 2 out of every 5 people. Incredulous! While multilateral agencies, INGOs, donor firms and local NGOs are all doing a fantastic job of bridging the gap – a new form of alternative development is becoming stronger.

Focus has invariably shifted towards building sustainable models where we work not in isolation, but hand in hand with entrepreneurs, investors and organizations to explore new markets, discover more customers, and, in the process, transform lives of the underserved 2.7 billion. The solution lies in bringing them as an integral part of the market economy, create employment and convert them into consumers; not keep them in fringes of the informal economy.

To understand the factors behind the sustainability of these ventures, we have looked at both successful and emerging inclusive business cases from Bangladesh. Working on a myriad of impact assessment projects with several renowned development organizations over the past five years, we have gathered deep insights to be able to create and test a robust tool that works in the context of Bangladesh.

The goal of the publication is to inspire social ventures adequately serve the bottom of the pyramid by leveraging this robust framework, which allows for a detailed list of factors ensuring viability, sustainability and scalability.

Our hope is to democratize this tool among the greater development professionals through this publication. We hope you will appreciate and leverage the model to address some of the largest social problems confronting Bangladesh.

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