Growing Inclusive Markets

 GIM logo

The Growing Inclusive Markets (GIM) initiative is a UNDP-led global multi-stakeholder research and advocacy initiative that seeks to understand, enable and inspire the development of more inclusive business models around the globe that will help to create new opportunities and better lives for many of the world’s poor. Below you can read more about GIM and you can visit GIM's external website for further information.

The GIM initiative involves a broad range of partners from developed and developing countries, has produced global, regional and national reports, action-oriented research tools, a web-based knowledge management platform, and generates capacity building, network building and knowledge sharing at the local level.

The GIM approach seeks to demonstrate how business can significantly contribute to human development by including the poor in the value chain as consumers, producers, business owners or employees (‘inclusive business models’). GIM highlights portraits of successful simultaneous pursuits of revenues and social impact by private actors, from social entrepreneurs to local small and medium-sized enterprises, large domestic companies and multinational corporations, but also state-owned companies and civil society organizations.

What GIM Offers

I. Knowledge and Research Tools

  • Case Studies bank – A repository of over 110 inclusive business models from over 40 countries, rigorously reviewed and documented. The case studies have been authored by over 45 leading Southern senior academics and practitioners.
  • Database of over 1,000 inclusive business models from all regions and sectors.
  • Production and dissemination of videos on Southern entrepreneurs to raise awareness about profitable examples of social-impact businesses, especially amongst Southern stakeholders.
  • 66 Market Heat Maps – A poverty-mapping tool that illustrates the economic activity of the poor.
  • The first global Growing Inclusive Markets flagship report was launched in 50 countries since July 2008 and translated in six languages. “Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor” analyzes constraints and strategies for companies to expand beyond traditional business practices and bring in the poor as partners in wealth creation.
  • Rigorous analysis of cases with a focus on business models, partnerships and results. GIM focuses on cases that have a high impact on poverty while contributing significantly to environmental protection.
  • GIM also collaborates with UNDP Country Offices in generating national GIM reports, such as the regional report for Eastern Europe and the CIS, and the national report for Colombia, launched in 2011 and 2010 respectively.

II. Capacity Building and Localization

GIM promotes a South-South Knowledge Network, by working with private-sector leaders, national policymakers, and civil society in the South to seed and grow national processes that are innovative, targeted and effective in combining capabilities towards poverty reduction. Our approach consists of:

  • Sector-specific multi-stakeholder dialogues at the national level to create coordination for more inclusive markets.
  • Exchanges between experts and entrepreneurs from different countries, for example to learn from successful business models.

Example of GIM case study: M-PESA

Kenya has fewer than 2 million bank accounts serving 32 million people. To bridge the gap, Safaricom Kenya, a mobile service providers in Kenya, developed a technological solution in partnership with Vodafone. The result was M-PESA, an electronic money transfer product to make financial transactions faster, cheaper and more secure. M-PESA allows individuals and businesses to transfer money through the mobile phone’s short message service (SMS). Cash withdrawals and deposits are available at registered retail outlets to pay for goods and services. After the successful launch in 2005, Safaricom plans to further recruit more financial institutions and retail outlets into the system and to expand it to other developing countries.

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