Roundtable on Mainstreaming Inclusive Business

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A roundtable on Mainstreaming Inclusive Business: A Peer Learning conducted by ICIMOD and SNV Netherlands Development Organisation under the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)-funded Adapt Himal project introduced the concept of inclusive business to representatives of government agencies, civil society, and the private sector from Nepal and India. An inclusive business is an entrepreneurial initiative that seeks to build bridges between business and low-income population groups for the benefit of both which encourages long-term economic, environmental, and social sustainability. During the meeting, held 15 March, experts shared knowledge on how participants can incorporate this concept into their value chains, which requires building trust between entrepreneurs and mountain people to encourage local participation in value chains. 

Previously, strengthening the capacity of farmers and farmer groups to collaborate with entrepreneurs or market actors was seen as an entry point to sustainable value chain development. However, with a new orientation toward inclusive development, participants learned the importance of also coordinating entrepreneurs and other stakeholders downstream to encourage greater collaboration with upstream actors to make value chains pro-poor, inclusive, and sustainable. 

The roundtable was attended by representatives from government projects partnered with IFAD, NGOs, and the private sector, including Chaudhary Group, Dabur Nepal, and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI). Participants from Chaudhary Group and Dabur Nepal said that the roundtable helped put their existing efforts to encourage inclusive business into perspective. They also noted that the concept can create a win-win situation for entire value chains. Representatives from the FNCCI expressed the desire to promote this approach through its district members to achieve wider outreach. At the end of the workshop, the IFAD developed a common framework for approaching inclusive business practices.