The Business Innovation Facility

We work across Malawi, Myanmar and Nigeria, as well as through two global funding windows, to make markets more inclusive and to generate increased incomes for the poor, whether producers, consumers or employees.

Where we work

The Business Innovation Facility (BIF) is currently working in multiple markets across three countries - Malawi, Myanmar and Nigeria - as well as through two global funding windows. 

Click on the link below to learn more about where we're working, who we're working with and why.



Regional Rice Export Market Research

This report analyses the regional rice export market for Malawi.

Malawi Off Grid And Phone Charging Survey

Survey results of household lighting technologies, habits and expenditure in Malawi

Household Solar Products Business Dialogue Forum in Malawi

This Summary Report captures the key discussions at business dialogue forum in June 2016


Lessons Learnt from the Business Innovation Facility

This report, "Lessons Learnt from the Business Innovation Facility - Market-system aware inclusive business", reflects on BIF's experience. In this publication we describe BIF in many different ways. There is the purely factual: a private sector development programme funded by DFID that from pilot in 2010-12 to close in 2019 worked in 5 countries in Asia and another 5 in Africa (see page 2). We describe BIF with numbers: the amount of funding, the number of people who were impacted, the number of partners supported (see page 3). We explain the different methodologies that were used, from market systems, to randomised control trials to grant schemes (see page 19). All these are valid and important. But BIF was other things too. It was a series of explorations of different ways of using the private sector’s innate ability to innovate to create social benefits. It brought together entrepreneurs with a vision for more inclusive and impactful ways of doing business with consultants with experience and knowledge to share. It was a series of rich, living case studies about how to create win-win outcomes in value chains for suppliers, customers and employees of companies that are prepared to take risks and work differently. This publication therefore focuses on what companies can learn from how BIF worked with its partners. In this spirit it is case study based, exploring lessons from three key phases common to inclusive business (IB) initiatives: analysis, pilot and scale. Lessons come from multiple parts of BIF, but we focus on some of the common challenges for companies seeking to benefit low-income people. We also provide links to the reports and papers published through the programme which provide a wealth of detailed learning.

RCT findings from a garment factory upgrading programme in Burma

As part of its work in Myanmar's garment market, BIF provided garment factories with training on productivity and human resource management. The effectiveness of this training was measured through a randomised controlled trial led by an independent academic institution. This paper presents the findings from the RCT and associated lessons learnt which may be of particular interest to donor programmes considering a similar intervention.

BIF Myanmar inclusive tourism products map

This map provides the location and details of tourism products and packages supported with grants and technical assistance through BIF's Tourism Product and Package Innovation Competition.

Malawi's Growth and Development Strategy

Malawi’s Growth and Development Strategy aims to transform Malawi from a country predominately focused on imports and consumption to a country focused on exports and production. Following the successful completion of the Business Innovation Facility (BIF1) pilot project in 2013, phase two was launched in October 2013, with Imani Development as the project implementer. BIF2 used a systemic approach to market development, supporting commercially sustainable innovations which seek to enable market access among the poor

How to maximise the benefits of garment factory training for your business, your workers and the industry

A 'how to' guide for garment factory managers and owners demonstrating the business case for investing in factory improvement services, and outlining some practical steps on how to implement change and access support.

BIF Toolkit - How to Set Up a Travel Hub [Myanmar Version]

Are you interested in setting up a Travel Hub? Read on! A Travel Hub is a place where visitors can get accurate information about accommodation, transportation, local activities and, where appropriate, Myanmar-wide travel. Travel Hubs are located in places that tourists typically congregate - coffee shops, motorbike rental shops or restaurants. They are designed to provide an additional stream of revenue to a business that already has a reliable client base of tourists. Furthermore, host businesses benefit from enhanced marketing, capacity building for staff and potentially becoming part of a nation-wide network.

Our Partners