In an effort to promote inclusive business practices, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Board of Investments (BOI) to set up standards for inclusive business accreditation and thus qualify for incentives.
Towards this goal, ADB, in cooperation with the Swedish Government, Credit Suisse and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, is making available a $3.6 million grant to support selected companies in the region in developing inclusive business models.
Businesses that will be given assistance include a cacao project in the Philippines, spice production in Cambodia and India, and a water project in China.
Inclusive businesses are defined as private sector investments that aims to make profit and at the same time create development impact through sustainable decent jobs, better income opportunities and useful services for the poor. The specific target of development are those who earn less than three dollars a day.
In a statement issued recently, ADB said that while many countries in Asia, including the Philippines, have been posting impressive economic growth in the recent years, the benefits of growth have not trickled down to improve living conditions of people at the base of the economic pyramid.
ADB Regional and Sustainable Development Department economist Armin Bauer added that “private companies are only now slowly recognizing that poor and low-income groups are a huge market for goods and services and a good source of employees and talent.”
He also distinguished inclusive business from social enterprises and social responsibility in terms of scale, depth of social impact and profit-seeking motive.