At the same time, inclusive businesses are aligned to Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) standards and thus are often outperforming companies without such standards. This in turn enables inclusive businesses to attract innovative performance-based funding opportunities. Inclusive businesses are also used to collaborating and entering partnerships, especially with governments, to maximise impact.
Empowering the poorResilient business practices also help provide structured responses to economic shocks, as demonstrated by L’Occitane’s inclusive business initiative in Burkina Faso. The company buys hundreds of tons of organic Fairtrade certified shea butter directly from a community of 10,000 women, and it was important for the company to create sustainable communities. The company’s Resist Programme over the last two years has built women’s resilience against economic and climate challenges, increasing their autonomy while reducing their dependency on L’Occitane. When the pandemic hit, the company felt its full force due to the closure of their retail networks. Yet, many women they partner with were protected, thanks to having pluriannual contracts with minimum volumes and because they had developed other sources of income.
More humane and inclusiveWithout diminishing its devastating impact, if the Covid-19 crisis has a silver lining, it is the opportunity it provides to create the enabling environment for inclusive businesses to thrive contributing to more equitable societies and reducing poverty.