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 Southern Methodist University, 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.



Technological advancement and globalization have created unprecedented innovation and economic activity over the past two decades. However, these forces, coupled with climate change, have also contributed to inequality and social instability, leaving large segments of humanity unable to participate in the new prosperity. By incorporating inclusive practices in their operations, businesses can support the upward mobility of disadvantaged suppliers, consumers, employees or other stakeholders while also creating financial and reputational capital.

The inclusive economy ecosystem is comprised of actors that carry out inclusive economic activities, and respect or promote biodiversity and ecosystem services, sustainable production and consumption, and human dignity. By applying socially responsible and innovative practices in their core operations and value chains, inclusive businesses use their influence to accomplish a multiplier effect when it comes to their societal impact.

The inclusive economy ecosystem is propelled by the interactions among entities playing one or more of three roles: 1) inclusive business; established corporations that engage suppliers, buyers, and/or employees in socially and environmentally responsible practices; 2) social enterprise; innovators, many of them small and mid-sized enterprises, that aim to address social and environmental problems via entrepreneurial solutions 3) enabler, which may be governmental, for-profit, or non-profit enterprises, that catalyze inclusive processes or help facilitate inclusive solutions.

Inclusive business incorporates intentional social and environmental practices to increase competitiveness and foster societal well-being.Inclusive business practices can be related to employees, suppliers, distributors, or consumers. By applying socially responsible practices in core operations and value chains, inclusive businesses use their influence to accomplish a multiplier effect when it comes to their societal impact.

Social enterprise involves small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) that create innovative new processes, products, or services that address and improve the quality of human life at the micro or macro level. Social entrepreneurs respond to market failures with transformative innovations aimed at solving social problems while maintaining financial sustainability

The enabler serves as a critical yet invisible actor in the inclusive economy, which is a highly complex and dynamic system that involves more than inclusive businesses and social enterprises. People, culture, and technology act as the institutional, market, and socio-economic ‘glue’ that binds, catalyzes and accelerates interactions and innovation. Enablers facilitate collaborations and connections; transfer knowledge; generate and share new knowledge; devise various 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. Here are a few of our members:





  • 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