Responsible and inclusive business hub South-East Asia (RIBH SEA)

Project description

Title: Responsible and inclusive business hub SEA
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Supraregional with operations in Cairo, Pretoria and Jakarta
Overall term: 2013 to 2016

Indonesia. RIBH South-East Asia: Workshop for inclusive business models. © GIZ


At present, more than two thirds of people affected by poverty worldwide live in middle-income countries (MICs). Some of these MICs are emerging nations that are experiencing dynamic economic growth and are home to highly innovative companies. Innovations in business can play an important role in reducing poverty, not only in these countries but also in neighbouring states classified as least developed countries (LDCs). However, this is so far only happening to a limited degree.

This is unfortunate, considering that not only the enterprises themselves but also local people stand to benefit from measures to combat poverty. The target group at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) in particular can provide excellent business opportunities for enterprises. According to a World Resources Institute estimate, the base of the pyramid market has a volume of USD 5 trillion. This means that, taken together, the people living in poverty in emerging and developing nations have immense purchasing power. If enterprises integrate these people into their activities as producers, business partners or consumers through inclusive business models, entirely new business opportunities can be opened up – while substantially improving people’s lives.


People living in poverty in South-East Asian countries benefit from inclusively designed business models, with enterprises including them in their business processes as producers, business partners or consumers.


Responsible and Inclusive Business Hubs (RIBHs) provide enterprises with access to knowledge in the field of sustainable development, thus helping to ensure that their activities contribute to achieving global development goals. To this end, RIBH SEA builds on the work of previous initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa. Advisors support enterprises especially in the development of inclusive business models. Among other things, RIBHs develop training and advisory formats for businesses and implement them as pilot projects. They initiate projects and integrate companies and other relevant actors into networks.

The RIBHs serve as intermediaries, bringing together German development cooperation activities, the local and international private sector, and in-country partner organisations. The lessons learned by the RIBHs flow into German political processes, thus helping to shape the political orientation of German international cooperation.

Results achieved so far

RIBH SEA currently focuses on agriculture, information and communication technology, and tourism. Located in Jakarta, it also helps with the exchange of knowledge and coordination of activities in connection with inclusive growth as one of the priority areas of bilateral cooperation.

Potential for inclusive business models has been successfully presented to various parties and integrated into a variety of activities in projects in Indonesia:

  • In conjunction with other projects such as the Sustainable Regional Economic Growth and Investment Programme (SREGIP) and stakeholders such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), workshops have been carried out for representatives of the private sector and government. These focused on inclusive business models and participation of enterprises in the tourism sector. As a result, business partnerships have been successfully promoted.
  • Together with the vocational education and training programme SED-TVET and Indonesia’s biggest employers’ association APINDO, the project is currently examining selected member enterprises. Attention is centred on activities strategically designed to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the area of education and training and potential for inclusive business models within the companies’ core business.
  • In addition, RIBH SEA actively promotes social entrepreneurship and inclusive business models with potential in the area of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Since mid-2015, these activities have been rolled out beyond Indonesia to other parts of South-East Asia.