The B4D Barometer
What is the B4D Barometer?
The B4D Barometer is an online self-assessment tool for companies to monitor and evaluate their inclusive business practices.
What's the value for your company?
Inclusive business - with all its advantages - is a risky and complex approach, especially when it comes to investments, implementation and adjustments. 
What will your company get when filling in the B4D Barometer?
Through filling in the online B4D Barometer-Questionnaire (self-assessment), the company, will be provided with a detailed update on the status of its performance.
What the B4D Barometer shall do and why
The B4D Barometer is an intense tool providing information on how to avoid pitfalls and how inclusive business processes can be driven.
Where the B4D Barometer has its limits
The B4D Barometer provides 5 levels of answer options for each question. So how do we know that our highest ranked really is the best option for your company?
Do you have to pay for the B4D Pathfinder Tools?
There is a yearly fee for the Barometer and the Toolkit. However companies that pilot the B4D Pathfinder Tools are exempted from this fee for a period of 2 years after having signed...
1

The B4D Barometer is an online self-assessment tool for companies to monitor and evaluate their inclusive business practices. Companies can identify successes, risks, gaps, challenges and solutions. In particular, they obtain a comprehensive update of the state of inclusivity and achievements as well as recommendations for improvements.

The tool comprises of a series of universal and industry-specific questions and 5 different answer levels for each question. The tool also provides companies with:

  • A brief analysis of the results in form of performance graphs;
  • Feedback & recommendations from B4D Experts; and
  • A trends analysis (when used on a regular basis). 

The B4D-Barometer covers the value chain core function ‘Procurement’, ‘Distribution’ and ‘Customers at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP)’. Each of these core functions is covered by about 70-80 universal questions.
Confidentiality of results and analysis will be guaranteed by a written agreement.

2

Inclusive business - with all its advantages - is a risky and complex approach, especially when it comes to investments, implementation and adjustments. It includes new ways of doing business, and is often initiated with insufficient information on and experiences with (informal) markets, the market rules and the business partners at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).

The vast majority of companies require results on their inclusive business performance to be assured that their high investments in this approach can indeed.

  • Lead to market extension;
  • bring about a positive Return on Investment (ROI);
  • establish successful collaborations with people at the BoP; and
  • have a social impact like employment creation and the improvement of livelihood.

The B4D-Barometer deliberately was conceptualised as a comprehensive support tool rather than as a tick-box or a quick-fix approach. It is based on knowledge and information on inclusive business, obtained from publications, case studies, exchange with companies, business associations, civil society organisations, government, academia, consultants and small and micro enterprises. It is a complex tool for a complex approach and shall help to identify and buffer risks.

The B4D Barometer shall enable a company to

  • self-assess and update itself on processes and achievements of its investments in inclusive business;
  • manage risks when implementing a comparably new approach; and
  • learn about best practices and options to improve its inclusive business performance.

3

Through filling in the online B4D Barometer-Questionnaire (self-assessment), the company, will be provided with a detailed update on the status of its performance in the fields of

  • Planning;
  • Implementation;
  • Maintenance and Logistics;
  • Organization; and
  • Outcomes.

4

The B4D Barometer is an intense tool providing information on how to avoid pitfalls and how inclusive business processes can be driven. It is intended to provide “food for thought” and knowledge for learning. The B4D Barometer shall inspire to reflect options and possibilities.

Working together with people at the BoP needs its time, especially when gaining a proper understanding of the processes on the ground and built up the mutual trust. Once managed, it can lead to successful long-term co-operations, and apart from profits and market extension, it can also lead to the feeling that your company indeed is a change driver in positive development. The B4D Barometer aims at supporting you to get there. It is a “living tool”, meaning that new knowledge will be added into the tool at a regular basis.

When you decide to fill in the Barometer, take your time, most likely you will not be able to fill it in one day, and possibly you will need to involve colleagues of other departments of your company. The Barometer is not meant to be a tick-box but support your company in a complex and comparably new process.

The present software will enable the responsible person of the company (“company admistrator”) to include colleagues (“users”) online. A manual for this will be delivered to the responsible person of the company by the Southern Africa Trust.

And we are grateful for any feedback.

5

The B4D Barometer provides 5 levels of answer options for each question. So how do we know that our highest ranked really is the best option for your company? Indeed we cannot “guarantee” that our idea of a best approach always is the best approach for your specific case. Indeed, this depends on the individual case, industry sector, situation at spot, condusive environment, partners and culture, etc.

Second, the Barometer, though comprehensive, cannot provide you with all the answers you need. But is shall help you to assess your company, reflect and get inspirations for new developments and innovation.

The intention of the Southern Africa Trust is to support companies doing inclusive business as we are convinced of the possible positive impacts for business and society. It is not our intention to judge a company or make its approach or details thereof (except the company would like us to do so).

6

There is a yearly fee for the Barometer and the Toolkit. However companies that pilot the B4D Pathfinder Tools are exempted from this fee for a period of 2 years after having signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Southern Africa Trust. We will select “pilot companies” based on selection criteria, such as

  • industry sectors;
  • already being a champion in inclusive business / or planning to start with inclusive business practices that shall lead to a larger impact;
  • commitment to give constant feedback on the B4D Pathfinder Tools
  • etc. (see sample Memorandum of Understanding)

    The Structure of the B4D-Barometer