Inclusive Business Partnerships to Address Challenges Ahead

29 September 2020 | Virtual Event, Bangkok, Thailand Time GMT+7





Inclusive businesses provide goods, services, and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, to people living at the base of the pyramid making them part of the value chain of companies as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers.

Since 2017, when ASEAN leaders called for “greater emphasis on creating an enabling environment for Inclusive Businesses in ASEAN Member States”, governments have been exploring means to encourage more inclusive businesses (IB) to emerge and scale up. Moreover, business leaders, the finance community and other key stakeholders have been developing IB models to support economic growth and social impact at scale. 

As business leaders and governments make progress in promoting inclusive business, it is worth exploring how inclusive business can support specific major socio-economic needs. This includes considering how inclusive businesses can help address the challenges posed by COVID-19 and how women, overrepresented among the poor, can be better included in the value chain of inclusive business. 

The ASEAN Community is now ready to consolidate its experience and eager to explore how inclusive business can help address the social and economic challenges posed by COVID-19.


Government representatives and CEOs of inclusive businesses will share their views on how inclusive business can address the social and economic challenges that citizens, SMEs and governments in ASEAN face to respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. 

The event will identify and explore IB models, partnerships and digital solutions that help address the social and economic challenges posed by COVID-19, including: 


  • sustaining agricultural value chains; 

  • responding to the health and social crisis generated by COVID-19; 

  • facilitating access to finance for businesses in times of crisis; and 

  • supporting the resilience, recovery and development of SMEs.

Inclusive business leaders and other stakeholders with a track record in doing well while doing good will share their experience in sustaining value chains that provide business opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurs, and deliver essential goods and services for those at the base of the economic pyramid. 


The Third ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit will provide an opportunity to

  • discuss how governments can further promote inclusive business models,

  • present the Guidelines for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN, and

  • explore partnerships – in terms of knowledge, digital platforms, investments and facilitation– that enable the growth of inclusive business in ASEAN and their social impact.


The inclusion of women in the value chain as producers, distributors, suppliers and consumers will be highlighted throughout the Summit. The summit will also discuss how inclusive businesses can respond and help SMEs and those at the BOP recover from the economic crisis ensuing from the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Summit will be attended by representatives from the inclusive business ecosystem in ASEAN including:

  • CEOs from companies with inclusive business models

  • Government officials developing and implementing IB policies

  • Financial institutions and multilateral development banks investing in inclusive business

  • Intermediaries supporting inclusive business development

  • Development partners supporting public and private sector IB initiatives

  • NGOs working with communities in IB value chains

  • International organizations promoting IB through their programmes 


Expected number of participants: 100-150.


The previous editions of the ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit recognized IB models in ASEAN, proposed the integration of IB in ASEAN’s Strategic Action Plan for Small and Medium Enterprise Development and then celebrated advances made in inclusive business policies and promotion activities in ASEAN Member States and at the ASEAN level.


The Third ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit will share learnings in the promotion of inclusive business and will present the Guidelines for the Promotion of Inclusive Business in ASEAN. The Summit will also identify and explore partnerships that can help respond and recover from the COVID-19 crisis.