As one of the partners of the Innovation Against Poverty Fund, the BoP Innovation Center is training local advisors in inclusive business. Those advisors will then support the winning IAP ventures in strengthening their business plan and value proposition. Stephen Njenga, one of the BoPInc trainers, shares his insights from the trainings he facilitated in Uganda and Zambia.
As an IBA trainer, I train local business advisors on how to use the tools in the IBA inclusive business toolkit
. These tools are organized within the building blocks of the widely-known business model canvas, and address common challenges faced by inclusive businesses.
In the training in Uganda, several participants knew about the BMC and had even used it before with clients, but had never interpreted it the same way as IBA. They discovered a whole new angle as well as how to take clients step by step using the BMC as a guide to ask very relevant questions. In Lusaka, the participants asked very practical questions on service delivery using the IBA tools and demonstrated enthusiasm for using them fully in their work.
In general, participants loved the fact that IBA was bringing a standard in the business development support (BDS) market, which is something they have been struggling with. Many clients they have approached in the past have zero or bad experience with BDS providers and when low awareness is combined with bad experience, it creates bad image for other players in the same field. As such IBA brings intentional quality and recognition under the same umbrella.
The IBA methodology is a valuable addition to the Innovations Against Poverty Fund, as it standardizes the approach and quality of the advisors that will be working with the selected ventures.
The IAP team is looking forward to receiving inspirational and innovative Inclusive Business idea submissions during its first call for proposals. Proposals will be assessed and selected on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis until the 24th of July. Don’t wait for tomorrow, apply today: www.innovationsagainstpoverty.org .