Greetje Schouten (PhD) is a senior research fellow at the Partnership Resource Centre, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. Her research focuses on partnerships between NGOs, businesses and governments in the field of sustainable food and agriculture. Most of the research projects she is involved in have an action research component.
Inclusive business models are increasingly called upon as a solution to the multiplex challenges of poverty and inequality while at the same time providing companies opportunities for profitability. However, a review of the literature shows that the development impact of inclusive business models is often uncertain and that it is important both for inclusive business partners and donors to track this impact carefully to ensure the benefit of inclusive business for low-income communities.
The palm oil sector is facing entrenched social conflict between companies and communities. Community consent is proposed to create a ‘level playing field’.
Although social impact funds provide loans for enterprises aimed at having social impact, these funds seem to focus mostly on the business’ financial sustainability and much less on the likelihood that the business will generate the desired social impact.