The number of domestic social enterprises worth putting money into is expected to increase substantially over the next 15 years, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said, increasing the likelihood of substantial gains versus poverty.
The Manila-based bank said the size of these investable inclusive businesses (IBs) – defined as growing, commercially viable and profit making firms whose core businesses are designed to address the needs of those below the $3 international poverty line – could also balloon during the period.
The number of investable IB deals in the Philippines was estimated to rise to 50 by 2025 from five in 2015, with the investment size correspondingly ballooning to $940 million from $94 million.
The ADB said that 40 for-profit social enterprises were currently considered as commercially viable in the Philippines. By 2025, up to 150 will be investment-ready, with investment in IB-ready enterprises expected to grow from $20 million to $76 million, it added.
“Inclusive businesses provide innovative solutions to create relevant goods and services for the low-income segment of society and are the direct contribution of the private sector to make growth more inclusive,” the ADB pointed out.
“More IB solutions mean less poverty and better living standards for the poor. IB opportunities in the Philippines are mainly in agribusiness, health, education, and
housing,” the lender noted.
The ADB, in partnership the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Program Business Call to Action program, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Inclusive Business Action Network, and Corporate Social Responsibility Asia will be organizing the 2nd Inclusive Business Forum for Asia in February 17 to 19 February 2016.
The ADB said the forum would highlight the latest innovative private sector solutions to job creation and discuss how governments and business associations can support an environment for IB.
“It will bring together 250 representatives from business companies and associations, investors, and governments promoting IB models in Asia. Experiences from Latin America and Asia will be shared during the forum,” it said.