Christina Gradl: Everything You Wanted to Know About Inclusive Business But Were Afraid to Ask: The IB eLab

Photo: Louis Jouve, Esoko

By Christina Gradl, Founder and Director, Endeva


The eLab provides an introduction to managers who are tasked and set to create business with low-income communities. It is designed in a way that fits every managers schedule, while providing the most important insights every IB manager should be aware of. Let’s review these two propositions!




The eLab consists of 6 modules. Each module introduces an aspect of inclusive business that makes this approach unique and challenging. The modules are:


  1. Inclusive Business Innovation
  2. Market Understanding and Marketing
  3. Last Mile Distribution
  4. Financing
  5. Partnering
  6. Results Measurement


Each topic will be presented by an expert from the BoP Learning Labs and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Presentations will introduce key concepts, but focus on their practical application, and the success factors and stumbling stones that can expected. Experts will be joined by practitioners that share their own experience with inclusive business.



The course consists of a number of elements that allow managers to fit this learning experience into their daily routine and adjust it to their specific needs.


  1. Inclusive Business Assessment – before teaching starts, each participant will have the opportunity to undergo a one-hour personalized assessment with an instructor. The assessment tool was developed by BoP Inc. Participants can identify the weak spots of their own project, whcih will help them to focus their attention and get targeted advice during the course.
  2. Online classes – the online classes are at the heart of the course. They will be taught for 60 minutes every Monday from 4pm, starting May 26th. Participants can ask questions via chat.
  3. Learning material – Participants receive a comprehensive course book summarizing the teaching and background reading. In addition, they have access to a library where all recommended readings are available for free download.
  4. Participant online group – A dedicated forum will allow participants to discuss questions that arise in class and to share own experiences, links and contacts.
  5. 1on1 Coaching –  Participants can upgrade to the personalized version of the course, where they can benefit from 6 hours of coaching with one of the experts behind the eLab. the coaching can be extended to up to three months, giving participants the time and space to apply insights from the teaching in their project and get advice on how exactly to design these components.


The eLab is designed to share years of research and experience in a low-cost and easy-to-access way. We as experts aim to make a difference to managers’ approach to inclusive business, and, ultimately, to the impact achieved on the ground.


Learn more about the course, including pricing and what’s on offer, at The course will begin on May 26, 2014 with registration available until May 14.

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