ABSTRACT

Inclusive distribution networks (IDNs) are made of micro-distributors of goods and services that are part of a brand’s distribution chain and its synergies and interactions enable reaching customers at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Microfranchising has emerged as an alternative that builds from the knowledge and tools available from business franchising models, applying them specifically to the advancement of micro-entrepreneurship in BoP communities. Working through IDNs has the potential to enhance impact on BoP micro-distributors through three key development areas: enterprise, empowerment, and economic opportunity. In short, IDNs seek to leverage the power of brands and existing organizational resources to increase the commercial success of the micro-distributors involved. The business approach to inclusive distribution encompasses knowledge generated around micro-franchising experiences, while casting a wider net to include networks of micro-distributors who have not necessarily entered into micro-franchising agreements per se, but could have the potential to do so as they mature.