Inclusive Business In Africa Part 3- Measuring Impact

We are still at the Practitioners Workshop in Uganda  and so far we have introduced ourselves and also highlighted some of the key challenges involved in running inclusive businesses as well as the kind of support that is required to overcome these challenges.

That is all very well but the biggest part of  running an Inclusive Business and certainly what brings the greatest satisfaction for those of us involved in this line of work is knowing that what we do impacts folk at the grassroots in a positive way and

Question 3 deals with this

a) As the concept of inclusive business has gained tractions, we are seeing increasing demand for concrete evidence of the business-development win-win. What have you learned about measuring the impact of an inclusive business model, and what advice would you have for others who are interested in doing so?

I order to measure the impact of an inclusive business you have to start out with clear and equitable  objectives. ideally these should be agreed by all stakeholders as they will highlight what each party hopes to achieve. A key objective for our partners here at Ethnic Supplies is to be self sustaining and this is about being able to generate an income from their work. This income will in turn enable them to send their children to school and pay for health care. Whilst our key objective is to empower our partners through business.

WOMEN OF KIREKA-UGNADA, PHOTO BY TMS RUGE

One way we measure our impact is by visiting the women each year to learn first hand what impact if any we have had. I would be lying if I told you that it is not gratifying to hear the women tell us that they have been able to send their children to school using the money they earned from selling their baskets through us.

Our work also extends to Community projects and this is where our greatest impact has been.  We have enabled children in a remote part of SW Uganda to access education free of charge  and this has involved installing the school buildings as well as providing teachers and sponsors for those children who cannot afford the school fees.

The most important lesson I have learned from my work is the notion of   FIRST DO NO HARM this involves understanding what is important to your partners/community in which you are working and  how that community is organised even consider who has clout in this community and why. Above all that it was more important to be lead by
the community/partners

In the next and final post in these series I will consider the  notion of  VALUE ADDITION at source. In the mean time if you have a view on any of the points raised here please leave a comment below.

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