Inclusive business: Making sustainable production mutually profitable for small and large companies


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In January 2016 team members of the SWITCH-Asia project "Prospect Indonesia: Promoting Eco-Friendly Rattan Products" travelled to Germany to take part in an international furniture exhibition and to hold a business dialogue event. 

Silvia Sartori and Uwe Weber from the SWITCH-Asia Network Facility met Ms Lili Saragih and Mr Harm van Oudenhoven who are Agribusiness Advisor and Agriculture Sector Leader with the Netherlands Development Organisation SNV, one of the partners of the SWITCH-Asia project, to learn more about the project's "inclusive business unit".

SWITCH-Asia Network Facility (SANF): Can you tell us how you understand inclusive business and in what way it has been part of the "Prospect Indonesia" project?

Harm: Inclusive business is a term that was developed by SNV around 2005-2006 to encourage business to go beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR). In SNV we thought that CSR is a bit part-time, too small: Can we not incorporate pro-poor thinking into the business model of companies? So instead of rattan processing companies investing in, say, a school or a medical centre, can they not invest in the training of farmers themselves or in their providers and producers so that the production model becomes more sustainable part? When we started the rattan project, the idea was that...

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