Impact Insights: The Power of Eco-Inclusive Enterprises and BDS Providers

January 1, 2022

Lina Gutierrez, Simon Muehlbauer, Mirko Zuerker

Executive Summary

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) make up the fabric of most societies and account for 90% of registered firms worldwide.1 They provide 50% of the jobs and contribute over 35% of the GDP of emerging economies (World Bank Group, 2017). At SEED, we focus on a specific sub-segment of SMEs: enterprises that apply and promote green business models while including employees, suppliers, distributors, or consumers from low-income backgrounds in their value chain. These ‘eco-inclusive enterprises’ contribute significantly to the social, environmental and economic empowerment of 5.2 billion people worldwide at the bottom of the pyramid. Fortunately, after 20 years of hard work advocating for eco-inclusive enterprises, their immense contribution to society is increasingly recognised. Therefore, more ecosystem actors, such as financiers, policy makers and Business Development (BDS) Providers, work with SMEs to further empower them.

This report provides a better understanding of the impact of these enterprises and BDS Providers, which SEED has supported for 20 years. Our survey includes responses from 234 enterprises and 107 BDS Providers that work in Africa, Asia and Latin America; it offers interesting insights into the working environment of ecoinclusive enterprises and the BDS ecosystem.