Creating an action repertoire for inclusive business models

Inclusive businesses aspire to engage the poor in the value chain for the benefit of both. Dutch companies often develop new business models to create opportunities for Base-of-Pyramid (BoP) communities in developing countries. But, efforts do not always turn out to be inclusive. TNO participates in a project aimed at the creation of design principles and tools for inclusive business models. These principles should lead to more effective models.

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Inclusive business in Malawi

Collaborative business models

In the context of this research project 'inclusive' refers to business ecosystems that include small and medium-sized enterprises from developing countries at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP). TNO will investigate if existing relevant tools and methods can be applied to, or adapted for the development of collaborative business models. An initial systematic literature review shows that there has been a lack of scholarly attention to collaborative business models in the BoP context. The project will provide much needed answers to understand better how Dutch companies can work together with young firms in developing countries so that they can scale-up to their full potential faster.

Ten cases researched

By actively engaging with ten selected cases, the project will help to understand whether or not existing tools and methods are applicable across BoP-Dutch business ecosystems and whether or not they are sufficient to allow for the collaborative creation of value. All cases have a link between low-income groups in developing countries and complementary companies in the Dutch economy. These Dutch companies often already function as 'innovation orchestrators'.

Project funding via NWO

TNO is part of a consortium which supports entrepreneurs in developing countries to unleash their talent. The consortium actively engages with local business initiatives and develop new tools to help them collaboratively create financial, social and environmental value. Special attention is given to the creation of positive impact for the most vulnerable groups. TNO closely collaborates in the consortium with University of Twente, BopInc, TNXTO and Nyenrode in this trajectory. The activities are funded by Dutch scientific organization NWO.


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