Inclusive business: the need for a paradigm of social solidarity economy
Photo: Fanny Fourestier

Promoting inclusive business requires a paradigm shift in the entire ecosystem of actors towards a social solidarity economy.These are the conclusions of the workshops on inclusive business that took place last week in Madrid and Barcelona, under the coordination of CAD and the CODESPA Foundation.

Both workshops gathered together experts from the business world, social entrepreneurs and professionals from the inclusive business area to validate the results of the research, promoted by the Business Observatory against Poverty (OECP) through the CODESPA Foundation and led by CAD, to propose initiatives aimed at creating a favorable ecosystem for inclusive businesses in Spain.

The report, which will be presented this April, aims to clarify and delimit the term “inclusive business”; identify the main organizations working in the inclusive business ecosystem; as well as analyzing barriers and opportunities for Spanish companies and identifying practical cases of success within the context of the Spanish territory.

Inclusive business was born as an economic alternative for developing countries. However, their capabilities to include all sectors of society and generate value at the same time, have made them a valid proposal also for the countries of Europe, including Spain.

Workshop Inclusive Business Barcelona

In the Spanish context, inequality, poverty and social exclusion derived from the last economic crisis are increasing. With almost 30% of child poverty and 28.6% of people at risk of poverty and exclusion in Spain, other niches of vulnerability need to be addressed urgently. Some examples are the poor workers or the energy poverty in the country.

In Spain, the opportunities offered by these businesses have been recognized, but there is still a lack of incentives to reach a larger scale.The alternatives, as it was concluded in the workshops, go through to generate more capacities and to work in intersectoral partnerships.

Participants in the workshops proposed solutions to common barriers in the sector: lack of funding and resources, lack of skills and incentives for social entrepreneurship, difficulties in accessing markets and obstacles stemming from the regulatory framework. Likewise, innovative solutions of joint action were identified by the main members of the ecosystem.

The workshop took place in the offices of the Boston Consulting Group in Madrid, and GlobalCAD’s offices in Barcelona.

Workshop Inclusive Business Madrid