A study jointly conducted by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investments promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), highlighted the growing enthusiasm and interest of the Philippines private sector in adopting Inclusive Business (IB) models.

IB offers an opportunity to not only generate profit, but also help those at the base of the economic pyramid and thereby contribute to reducing poverty in the country.

The study, Business+ Philippines, provides valuable insights on the level of inclusiveness among Philippine companies today. It presents the results of a baseline survey among Philippine companies to understand their current levels of awareness, knowledge, and engagement in IB, and identifies the challenges and opportunities for adopting IB models in their operations. The Business+ study, conducted in partnership with the country’s most prominent business associations, involved 223 companies in the Philippines.

While the report showed that the current levels of awareness and engagement of Philippine companies in IB are low, it also highlighted the strong interest among the respondents on adopting and strengthening IB practices within their companies.

There are already number of emerging IB models in agriculture, tourism, health, and education, but many of these companies were not aware that they were already undertaking IB practices. Social enterprises showed the highest levels of inclusiveness with the highest scores in all entry points, followed by large national companies, multinational corporations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Among the recommendations for increased IB adoption include raising awareness, building capacity, encouraging collaboration, and initiating certain policy interventions to create a more inclusive and business-friendly business environment.

“The Study highlights the needed synergy between the government and the private sector in creating an enabling environment for Inclusive Business. The Board of Investment’s inclusion of Inclusive Business in the 2017-2019 Investment Priorities Plan builds on the Business+ recommendation to create more policies supporting Inclusive Business. This further gives the government a proactive role to “IB-tize” businesses to spread the benefits of growth to the poor,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

There are six entry points on IB based on its definition in the G20 Inclusive Business Framework: being an employee, consumer/customer, supplier, distribution channel member, entrepreneur, or local community.

“Although the Philippines experienced economic growth over the last few years, poverty and underemployment, especially among the youth, remain significant issues. Inclusive Business models can help in making those at the bottom of the economic pyramid become part of and really benefit from the growth process. Inclusive Business offers opportunities to go beyond traditional business models to ensure both commercial success and social impacts.” UNDP Philippines Country Director Titon Mitra said.

The first Business+ report, produced by UNDP IICPSD together with Koç University in Turkey in 2015, emphasized the role of the private sector, government and other stakeholders in raising awareness and engagement with inclusive business. After its success, the research was replicated in the Philippines and is also currently being carried out in Brazil.

The report is available for download through the following links: