MANILA — Enterprises operating in the country still have low awareness on inclusive business (IB) but remain keen to adopt the model, based on a study conducted by the Board of Investments and the United Nations Development Programme’s Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development.
During the launch of the Business+ Study on Monday, it was noted that local companies have low level of awareness on IB with a mean score of 1.51 out of 7, where 1 indicated “not aware at all”.
But the study showed that despite the low level of awareness on IB models, inclusivity levels of the bottom of the pyramid on firms’ business models were higher.
“In some cases, companies which had already adopted inclusive business models did not consider themselves an ‘inclusive business’ when asked,” the survey read.
The report noted that indicators of inclusiveness include employing poor people with mean score of 4.39; targeting poor people as consumers, with mean score of 3.35; doing business with the poor as suppliers, with score of 3.52; doing business with the poor as distribution channel, with score of 3.41; considering poor people as entrepreneurs in business model, scoring 3.74; investing in less developed neighborhoods, scoring 4.03; emphasizing poor in mission statement at 3.72; and emphasizing poor in business strategy at 3.79.
“Companies revealed that they were planning to be more inclusive in the future when asked about their intention to include the poor in their operations in the next five years,” the study said.
Moreover, Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Felicitas Agoncillo-Reyes said there is a need to improve the enabling environment to encourage more businesses to adopt IB models.
The study likewise listed recommendations for the public and private sectors as well as civil society to boost IB in the country. These recommendations include raising awareness of and interest in IB, capacity building, strengthening collaboration, and simplifying bureaucratic requirements and increasing policies to support IB.
“It is our hope that our respective initiatives on Inclusive Business align with these recommendations and seek to complement the government’s thrust to reduce poverty by including the small community enterprises in the formal economy,” Agoncillo-Reyes said.