The private and development sectors are increasingly seeking ways to make markets work more effectively, sustainably and beneficially for the low income households. Each party has their own interest and their own challenges. Development agencies are struggling with the question how to catalyze social impact with a market based approach. What should their role exactly be? How best can they facilitate and catalyze private sector engagement without disrupting the market?
Multinational companies increasingly see Africa or Uganda as an interesting growth market and the lower income households as a target group not to be overlooked, as they quickly climb the consumer ladder. But how to tap into these growth markets is for many a struggle. Rich market and consumer insights are detrimental for the right product design and Marketing Mix, whereas common business models are not always suitable to reach “the last mile”. What kind of innovations are needed to generate return on investment, but also include the lower income population as suppliers, employees and consumers.
In an attempt to answer these questions, Oxfam, SNV Uganda and the Inclusive Business Accelerator Consortium (Comprising of BoP Innovation Center, SNV, Venture Capital for Africa and Neyenrode Business School), identified the need for inclusive business advisory and incubation services in Uganda. To meet this need these organizations founded BSpace in October 2013 as a not-for-profit enterprise. BSpace’s sole objective is to accelerate inclusive business in Uganda.