Case study

Review of the Business Innovation Facility portfolio

Assessing results and trajectories of inclusive businesses at the end of a three year pilot

Caroline Ashley Carolin Schramm
2013 Bangladesh India Malawi Nigeria Zambia Asia: South Africa: East, South & Central Africa: West & Northern Agriculture Download as PDF (1.3 MB)


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Published by
Business Innovation Facility
Project implementer
Business Innovation Facility
Results level
Growth and access to services
Mixed method
Data source
Monitoring Data
Intervention type
Improved product / service quality

A 3-year review of the Business Innovation Facility pilot programme. Forming the basis of two subsequent reports, this is an exhaustive assessment of the project following its launch and aims primarily to map the technical progress of the initiative since its inception. It offers a detailed breakdown of the methodology, funding structure and selection processes that were used.

Main findings

  • The most powerful driver of growth for businesses was increased profitability of the product. This proved more effective than reducing outgoing costs or improving value chain efficiency.
  • Feedback from businesses suggested that most had found the BIF intervention useful, but not all agreed that it had made them 'bigger, better, faster'.
  • Improvement could be made in the future by providing target businesses with a database of investors and better monitoring technology, in addition to developing a more nuanced process for agriculture specifically.

Intervention description

The overall Business Innovation Facility programme provides hundreds of inclusive businesses with technical assistance and advice or 'consultancy support' through a variety of programmes, including long-term, short-term and knowledge sharing. Though diverse, the core focus of each project is to help a given company to design, test or implement a more robust, sustainable and inclusive business model.

Evidence methodology

  • A strictly quantitative analysis, looking specifically at growth indicators across data obtained from companies targeted by the programme.
  • The report includes 3 levels of evaluation: an initial baseline, a progress report and an update report.

Useful for:

The report outlines its audience as anyone interested in inclusive business models. This might be companies, investors, incubators, donors, consultancies, trade bodies, departments or non-profits that support businesses similar to those targeted as part of the BIF pilot's long-term programme.