Each of these winners were chosen by the judging panel for their innovation, financial sustainability, development results, potential for growth, and environmental and social sustainability.
If you haven’t had a chance to read their full profiles, we’ve selected a few examples that represent the broad spectrum of industries and business models of the 15 Challenge winners. These companies prove that working with low-income people can go hand-in-hand with success.
Bakhresa Grain Milling (BGM) Malawi is a flour producer that sells packaged wheat flour. BGM offers its flour in small packages of 5 to 10 kg, which makes it easy for small retailers to buy. BGM uses vans to reach remote rural areas and distribute its products to bakeries, women selling home-baked goods in remote areas, and branch sales offices. Most importantly, BGM empowers customers to launch their own microbusinesses, offering training programs and workshops on the business of how to sell baked goods, including bookkeeping, sales and how to use, store, and market flour and bread products. Read more about Bakhresa.
The Ecofiltro is a safe, inexpensive, and ecologically-friendly clay filter used to purify contaminated drinking water, and which can be assembled using local materials and labor. Most Ecofiltro customers previously had no access to clean water, and suffered from intestinal infections from contaminated water that posed a serious risk to their livelihoods. Ecofiltro sells upscale filters to urban consumers at a profit, which allows them to sell filters in rural communities at a subsidized rate and donate filters to schools and hospitals. Ecofiltro also employs women with no prior income as saleswomen, sending them out to sell and distribute Ecofiltros door-to-door to customers living at the base of the pyramid. Read more about Ecofiltro.
Reybanpac Unidad de Lácteos is a food company in Ecuador that collects raw milk from smallholder farmers and processes it into ultrapasteurized milk, cheese, yogurt, and dairy drinks, which are then distributed to supermarkets and small retailers. Reybanpac adds whey, a high-quality protein that is harvested when milk is processed into cheese, to its dairy products, and fortifies many of them with vitamins and minerals. Reybanpac also provides more than 2,500 family dairy farms in remote, rural regions with a guaranteed market for their milk and uses hundreds of local distributors to deliver affordable dairy products to more than 45,000 microretailers. Read more about Reybanpac.
Waterlife India builds and runs water purification plants in underserved areas of rural and urban India that otherwise have no access to safe drinking water. Waterlife also creates jobs by training customers from local villages to operate, maintain, and service the purification plants and by establishing a distribution network of local entrepreneurs to deliver water to the remote parts of the village via rickshaw or auto-rickshaw for a delivery fee. Waterlife partners with the government, which pays for the construction of the plant itself, and charges customers a small monthly fee that generates enough revenue to cover ongoing maintenance and operations of the plant. Read more about Waterlife India.
To learn about more of the innovative models that won the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation, check out IFC’s e-book publication profiling the winners and other interesting businesses that entered the Challenge.
And if you know of an innovative inclusive business model that you think deserves recognition too, describe in the comments below!