NGO and company partnerships for inclusive business


Inclusive business partnerships (IB partnerships) between NGOs and companies have a very specific form: They start from a concrete opportunity to improve the lives of low-income and marginalised people, and then address this opportunity with a financially viable business model that helps ensure sustainable impact.

Many NGOs and companies are interested in engaging in such partnerships, but often struggle with the “how”. Our main motivation in writing this guide has been our hope of unlocking IB partnerships’ immense potential for helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more effectively. To this end, our guide aims to give NGOs and companies guidance in conducting more productive IB partnerships as equal partners. We hope these pages will create a better understanding for what IB partnerships actually are, provide inspiration in the form of real partnership examples, and offer a way forward by documenting the lessons learned by practitioners in the field.

Our GAIN Access to Better Dairy on is featured as case study in this report (p. 92). 

Arla Foods Ingredients, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), DanChurchAid (DCA), the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), and several other partners established GAIN Access to Better Dairy partnership in 2017 with funding from Denmark’s development cooperation agency, Danida. The partnership aims to improve diets among children and mothers in Ethiopia by introducing an innovative, locally produced, safe, and fortified dairy product to the market. In parallel, the partnership is also intended to improve livelihoods among the country’s smallholder farmers. 

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