The Inclusive Business Accelerator (IBA) strengthens the capacity of local consultants to deliver inclusive business development services. Recently, we organized a BDS training in Mozambique’s capital Maputo with the support of partners SNV and SEED. This Inclusive Innovation training was based on the second toolkit we developed to support local small and medium-sized companies in the development of new products and services.
Inclusive innovation is an approach that enables businesses to create new or improved products and services while ensuring a positive impact on low-income consumers. This kind of innovation is done in collaboration with low-income stakeholders. It balances financial, social and environmental returns, as the objective is to create positive economic and social impact for entrepreneurs, companies, and consumers.
The impact of inclusive innovations can be incremental or game-changing. Like other forms of innovation in business, inclusive innovation goes beyond the invention process. In many ways, it is not very different from other kinds of innovation. However, the contexts in which inclusive innovations are developed and deployed, and the strong involvement of various stakeholders (including the targeted low-income consumers themselves), cause it to differ from other kinds of innovation in essential ways that merit special attention from enterprises operating at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’.
The three-day workshop was successfully carried out with the active participation of Maputo-based consulting firms. Using a participatory methodology and a mix of case studies, practical exercises and group work, participants dug into the key themes and questions posed by Inclusive Innovation.
One participant indicates: “I was very impressed with the number of tools put at our disposal. This is highly valuable for start-ups as well as established companies.”
As part of the benefits, trained advisors will receive a one-year access to the online version of the toolkit and to an online community of IBA advisors specialised in the application of tools. After successful application of the tools in their work, consultants can apply for certification. They will then be featured on the IB Accelerator platform as preferred suppliers of Inclusive Business advisory services.