The Inclusive Economy Consortium (IEC) is an interdisciplinary community of diverse stakeholders who are dedicated to creating an economy that works for all. Hosted by The Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at SMU, the Consortium fosters collaboration, education and innovation to help businesses and social entrepreneurs access opportunities and create shared value. Applying a leading international development paradigm to one of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, we translate thought leadership into action for inclusive business and sustainable development in communities around the world.


Today’s economy is in a state of disequilibrium due to forces from globalization and automation to inequality and climate change. Global value chains account for approximately 60% of economic activity and wield considerable influence over the ability of firms and individuals to profit from the system as suppliers, consumers and stakeholders. In an inclusive economy, the largest corporations partner with enterprises of all sizes to create shared value for the betterment of society. The Inclusive Economy Consortium aims to enable that process.

The Inclusive ecosystem is propelled by three types of entities or roles: 1) inclusive businesses; i.e. large corporations that engage in inclusive practices; 2) social entrepreneurs; i.e. small and mid-sized enterprises; and 3) enablers, which may be for-profit or non-profit enterprises that catalyze the inclusive process.

Inclusive business is the practice of integrating low-income, marginalized or otherwise disadvantaged groups as employees, consumers, and/or suppliers in their commercial operations. The prevailing view today, is that inclusive businesses are entrepreneurial initiatives that are both economically profitable and environmentally and socially responsible.

Social entrepreneurship is the practice of responding to market failures with transformative, financially sustainable innovations aimed at solving social problems. Small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) engage in social enterprise by creating new processes, products, or services that address and improve the quality of human life at the micro and/or macro level.

The inclusive economy is a highly complex and dynamic system that involves more than the visible partnerships among companies and non-profits. People, culture, and technology serve as the institutional, market, and socio-economic ‘glue’ that binds, catalyzes and accelerates interactions and innovation. In the inclusive ecosystem, enablers are critical players that facilitate collaborations and connections; transfer knowledge; generate and share new knowledge; enable different forms and stages of financing; implement supportive policies; and much more.


The Inclusive Economy Consortium is a platform to catalyze the global movement of organizations and individuals working to create a more inclusive economy.





  • Access to a global network of social impact professionals

  • Access to expertise and finance

  • Access to dedicated discussion forum



  • Peer-to-peer knowledge exchange

  • Listing in Inclusive Economy Ecosystem

  • Special invitations to learning events and working groups


  • Ability to contribute to and search members-only database of global best practices

  • Opportunities to contribute thought leadership