September 2017
World Business Council
for Sustainable Development

Here is a brief collection of inclusive business related news, updates and insights. Feel free to send us your news anytime!

Thank you for your ongoing interest and participation in our work.


Featured stories


Increased yields with half the water


Agriculture going digital


Investing for the SDGs  


News from WBCSD and its member companies


Building a resilient vanilla supply chain in Madagascar

The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming - an impact investment fund created by Danone, Firmenich, Mars and Veolia to foster sustainability and poverty reduction in supply chains - is investing in a large-scale vanilla project with an innovative model where farmers and industry players share both benefits and risks. Working with 3,000 family farms, the project aims to triple their revenues and provide companies with quality and fully traceable vanilla over a 10-year span.


Corporate engagement on water supply, sanitation and hygiene

Every year, the equivalent of $4 billion in working days are lost due to poor sanitation. If 1USD were invested in water and sanitation, an average of 4USD would be returned in increased productivity. A new report by WaterAid, WBCSD and the UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate presents opportunities for companies and the wider WASH community to drive substantial progress towards SDG6 through supply chains and voluntary standards.


News from around the world

Increasing profitability and productivity of smallholders with half the water

Positive linkages between irrigation and agricultural productivity, income and food security have been well established by several studies. Against the backdrop of renewed international interest in boosting water and farming efficiency, farming experts are now calling for inclusive business models, targeted investments and collective innovation platforms to avoid failures of the past.
How inclusive business contributes to SDG5

How can inclusive business empower women and contribute to achieving SDG 5? This month’s thematic series by the Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business presents insights on business models that empower girls and women. It dives into new tools to analyze gender impacts of value chain interventions and shares tips on gender-lens investing.

Impact investing is gaining traction in big banks

Growing demand for impact investing is driving some of the biggest banks to venture into this space. In mid-September, Barclays announced the launch of its Multi-Impact Growth Fund, while Credit Suisse established a new department titled Impact Advisory and Finance, to cater for private wealth, institutional and corporate clients. Earlier this year, UBS raised $325 million for a private equity impact investment fund.

Tools and Reports

Innovative finance to achieve the SDGs

The UN estimates that it will cost US$3.9 trillion a year to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in developing countries alone. Current levels of both public and private funding cover only US$1.4 trillion, leaving an estimated US$2.5 trillion annual gap. BSR recently released a report that analyzes the landscape of mechanisms and identifies opportunities for innovative finance in the healthcare value chain. Though focused specifically on access to healthcare, the report holds interesting insights and recommendations that can be applied in other value chains.
Impact bonds in developing countries – early learnings from the field

This report documents the experience of a range of stakeholders developing social and development impact bonds in developing countries, and navigates the opportunities, risks, and challenges faced by practitioners in this nascent field, providing a timely update of the state of play. The report also features a deal book with individual factsheets for around thirty of the impact bonds contracted and in design phases in developing countries.
Exploring the impact of digital tools on agriculture

How do digital tools and approaches improve cost-effectiveness and better outcomes in food security and nutrition programs? USAID is working to demonstrate different approaches to digital tool adoption and how these tools are impacting organizational culture, operations and programming. If you would like to showcase your work, submit your project by reaching out to USAID here.

Workshop and Trainings

Executive Education: Inclusive Business and Social innovation (3-6 October, Calais, France)

The HEC Business School, Hystra and Ashoka, offer an Executive Education Program on inclusive business and value creation that prepares corporate executives in charge of designing, launching or scaling inclusive business projects. Its format is based on experiential learning and immersion, cutting-edge academic content, insights from pioneers in the field and peer-to-peer learning, condensed into an intensive 4-6-day session. It is designed for corporate executives, but also welcomes social entrepreneurs, executives from large NGOs, international aid agencies and impact investors.
Building Effective Partnerships for Development (23 – 25 October 2017, Oxford, UK)

The Partnering Initiative’s 3 day training program, Building Effective Partnerships for Development, focuses on skills, understanding and knowledge for effective cross-sector partnering, optionally leading to a Certificate in Partnering Practice. The course balances core knowledge with highly interactive, experiential learning through role play, ‘serious games’ and peer-to-peer exchange.
10 - 13 Oct SOCAP17, San Francisco, US
18 - 19 Oct ii2030: Innovating for a more inclusive 2030, Berlin, Germany
30 Oct - 3 Nov Financial Inclusion Week 2017, worldwide
31 Oct - 1 Nov 2nd Africa Impact Investing Leaders Forum, Berlin, Germany
23 Nov Inclusive Business Forum, Göteborg, Sweden
More events

Thank you for your ongoing interest and participation in our work.

Davide Fiedler
Manager, Social Impact, WBCSD