Unlocking Business Potential to Support SDGs Through the Creation of Inclusive Business Models

Dec 7, 2017

United Nations Development Programme Bangladesh (UNDP BD) and Business Call to Action (BCtA), a multilateral alliance among donor governments, co-hosted a one day workshop on “Inclusive Business Maturity, Impact Measurement and Management” at the UNDP/UNV Innovation Hub, IDB Bhaban (14th Floor), Agargaon, Dhaka on Wednesday, 6 December 2017. The workshop was attended by 33 private sector leaders, representing 20 business organisations in Bangladesh with proven business models and potential for SDG impact through their business activities.

The workshop highlighted how inclusive business models have a high potential in contributing to the SDG Agenda2030 and offer unique opportunities for driving innovation, building markets and building supply chains for the private sector.

There were three main objectives for the workshop. The first objective was to share lessons from inspirational business leaders on how to design an inclusive business model that adequately meets the needs of the business as well as advance the SDGs. The second objective was to support the participants journey towards establishing sustainable, commercially viable and scalable inclusive business. And the third objective was to engage in hands-on activities with the participants so as to identify their Inclusive Business maturity level, develop an impact value chain of their business and develop a guide on data collection to set up internal SDGs indicators.


During the all-day workshop, participants learned how private sector companies can continue doing business as usual, make a profit, while adding value to it through supporting and promoting development initiatives and SDGs Agenda 2030. A facilitator, Tomohiro Nagasaki said, “If you want to say that you are an inclusive business, you have to back that claim up with the relevant data.”

A participant, Mashook Mujib Chowdhury, Assistant Manager at DBL Group, said, “We are conducting our business, but at the same time, we are catering to the needs of our workers.”

This workshop is part of the Private Sector Impact Data 2030 initiative, which is playing a key role in engaging private sector companies in Bangladesh by building an online platform to visualize their SDG impact and understand the business case behind it.

The hands-on activities were facilitated by Tatsiana Hulko and Tomohiro Nagasaki of BCtA. BCtA is an initiative that aims to accelerate progress towards the SDGs by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people at the base of the economic pyramid. BCtA was launched by the United Nations in 2008 and its secretariat is hosted by UNDP. The UNDP/UNV Innovation Hub, which hosted the workshop, was set up by the UNDP and UNV as a space to house collaborative partnerships with the private sector. The goal for the Hub is to serve as an incubator for innovative development projects in collaboration with the private sector.

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