Inclusive Market Development

 Man growing seedlings
CREDITS: UNDP

Most UNDP programmes with the private sector aim at inclusive market development (IMD). Inclusive markets are markets that extend choices and opportunities to the poor (and other excluded groups) as producers, consumers and wage earners. Inclusive markets thus create jobs and affordable goods and services needed by the poor.

In a number of developing and transition countries UNDP contributes to development of inclusive markets by working in the areas of improving policy frameworks, developing value chains, improving access to affordable goods and services, supporting entrepreneurship development and corporate social responsibility.

The IMD approach focuses on entire markets or sub-sectors that are important to the poor by addressing barriers to inclusive market development at micro, meso and macro levels. Such barriers include, e.g. lack of appropriate policies, limited access to finance and markets, weak value chain linkages, capacity constraints and lack of infrastructure. Thus, various interventions at different levels might be needed.

The IMD approach promotes participation of all relevant actors at various levels. Which market or sector to target and how to promote inclusion is defined through an open and participatory process where the focus is on the sectors or markets that are important to the poor. The process involves not only UNDP and other UN agencies but also additional partners and stakeholders such as the local government, academia, private sector organisations, civil society organisations, etc. Upon selection of target sector or market the sector specific stakeholders are identified along with investors and lead firms. This ensures a demand driven strategic approach where the opportunities for the poor are the starting point.

Examples of Inclusive Market Development

  • Small farmers from Upper Egypt and beneficiaries of the UN joint programme check on their produce. Photo: UNDP/Egypt

    In Egypt, small farmers embrace the entrepreneurial spirit

    When the Arab Spring blew over Egypt in early 2011, most investors predicted chaos and fled, pushing already massive unemployment even higher and plunging the economy more

Inclusive Markets Development Handbook

The IMD approach seeks to strengthen the whole market system where needed – enterprises, business relationships, market structures or the business environment.

Assessing Markets

This note provides a methodology to support the identification of opportunities by providing an approach for identification and selection of markets that have the potential to work better for the poor. This note is a supporting document to the IMD Handbook.

Brokering Inclusive Business Models

The objective of this publication is to provide the essential information and tools to build inclusive business models with companies and other partners. This note is a supporting document to the IMD Handbook.

Guide to Partnership Building

This Partnership Handbook is designed to build the skills, confidence and competencies of partnership brokers. This note is a supporting document to the IMD Handbook.

Featured Publications
Realizing Africa's Wealth: Building Inclusive Businesses for Shared Prosperity

This report, prepared by UNDP's African Facility for Inclusive Markets, describes the status of inclusive business in sub-Saharan Africa and the ecosystems underlying the enterprises and entrepreneurs driving such approaches. It identifies promising opportunities in strengthening these ecosystems, enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to build more – and stronger – inclusive businesses.

Partners in Development - How Donors Can Better Engage the Private Sector for Development in LDCs

This report, prepared by United Nations Global Compact, UNDP and Bertelsmann Stiftung, provides concrete advice how donors and development partners can better engage the private sector for development in the least developed countries. The report provides examples of different collaboration approaches, donor programs and promising approaches for the public sector and private sector to join forces behind a common goal to enable wider development impact.