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Promoting Inclusive Business in Asia and the Pacific

About the programme

To meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the private sector must play a greater role in supporting development objectives

Inclusive businesses demonstrate that it is possible to provide goods, services and livelihoods – on a commercially viable basis – to people often overlooked by pure profit-orientated businesses.

Inclusive businesses provide goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, either at scale or scalable, to people living at the base of the economic pyramid; making them part of the value chain of companies’ core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers.

Inclusive business impacts

Inclusive businesses bring impact at scale

ESCAP promotes inclusive business through:





Policy advice: ESCAP advises governments in the design and implementation of policies, strategies and programmes to promote inclusive businesses.



Policy dialogue: ESCAP supports multi-stakeholder national and regional dialogues to share knowledge on opportunities and challenges in fostering inclusive businesses.



Supporting enterprises develop inclusive business models: ESCAP supports institutions in providing business coaching, in addition to offering direct coaching to enterprises developing inclusive business models.



Research and analysis: ESCAP conducts research and analysis on opportunities and challenges for inclusive business at the national and regional level.


Our projects


Inclusive Business Promotion in ASEAN

Promoting Inclusive Business in Agriculture

Since 2019, ESCAP has supported governments in ASEAN to enhance the policy environment for inclusive business.

In collaboration with iBAN, ESCAP has provided country-level analysis and policy advice (e.g. Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines and Viet Nam).

As a result of this work, Economic Ministers of ASEAN have endorsed the Guidelines for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN and a number of governments are putting in place policies to promote inclusive business. In 2023, ASEAN Economic Ministers adopted the Plan of Action for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN and the Declaration on Promoting Inclusive Business Models: Empowering MSMEs for Equitable Growth.

ESCAP is currently supporting several ASEAN governments design and implement such policies and continues to support the ASEAN community with the organisation of the annual ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit. It is also providing business coaching services to enterprises seeking to develop inclusive business models.

ESCAP, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have launched the “Regional Inclusive Business Models in Agriculture and Food Systems” initiative in India, Thailand, and Viet Nam

Through capacity-building of firms, policy support, facilitation and partnerships, evidence generation, and knowledge transfer, the programme aims to accelerate the adoption of inclusive business models and promote inclusive agricultural transformations that embrace new potential markets; create above-market-rate income opportunities and access to affordable goods and services for marginalized groups; and support governments to deliver low-cost essential services that lift people out of poverty at scale.

Promoting inclusive and sustainable businesses

in Sri Lanka

Since 2023, ESCAP is supporting the Sustainable Development Council of Sri Lanka to promote inclusive and sustainable businesses. As a result of this work, the Cabinet of Ministers approved in 2024 the Strategy to Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Businesses to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in Sri Lanka


Countries we work with



Our partners

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