The Journey of Multinational Corporations to Inclusive Business

This work identifies the steps MNCs can take in order to maximise their chances of creating and bringing to scale inclusive businesses with sustainable impact. It is based on the analysis of the ‘first wave’ of activity by MNCs, over the last decade, to set up and scale inclusive business.

Developed by - Hystra


Synopsis – Hystra’s output, which is drawn from its experience working directly with MNCs, identifies the challenges that they can face when developing an inclusive business. These include: aligning multiple stakeholders’ divergent ambitions and reservations; tending to look for technical innovations within the organisation, rather than learning from existing solutions or working to better understanding consumer challenges; finding the right people to lead and push through inclusive business initiatives; building in buy-in from key decision-makers early on to scale past the pilot stage; frequent changes in leadership personnel, making inclusive businesses company-wide initiatives.

It proposes six key solutions to meet these challenges:

  1. Clarify the objectives and level of ambition
  2. Learn from others and find unique strategic fit
  3. Give the intrapreneur role to internal, credible, risk-taking leaders
  4. Make the pilot a success, not just on the ground but also at headquarters
  5. Create solid ties in the organisation
  6. Mainstream inclusive business in the organisation by aligning KPIs and Human Resource processes


Actions for MNCs - The information will enable MNCs to learn from past initiatives’ mistakes and avoid them, leverage practical tools to make decisions on how to design the inclusive business initiative, and integrate best practices from the featured case studies into their own inclusive business efforts.


Actions for others stakeholders – The findings will also enable NGOs or donors to understand company’s constraints better, and plan their collaboration with those accordingly. It may also help them to advise corporate partners on how best to design and run an inclusive business initiative.


Tools and guidance – The work also provides:

  • A matrix to evaluate the level of stretch and reward that inclusive businesses will correspond to for an MNC, and help them evaluate how complex it will be to set up
  • A checklist to map internal stakeholders’ type and level of ambition for each inclusive business initiative, to help identify effective arguments to overcome internal hurdles
  • A framework to determine the best external partners for inclusive businesses at various stages of maturity
  • A framework to help gauge the most adapted organisational structure for an inclusive business


To download the report, click here

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