The Inclusive Economy Consortium (IEC) is an interdisciplinary community of diverse stakeholders who are dedicated to creating an economy that works for all. Launched by The Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity at Southern Methodist University, the consortium enables change agents to connect, share, and act. By providing a collaborative platform for social innovation, thought leadership, and collective action, we help foster inclusive and sustainable development in communities around the world.



Today’s economy is in a state of disequilibrium. Technological advancement and globalization have benefited many. 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. Simply put, the economy may be growing, but not inclusively.

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 propelled by the interactions among entities playing one or more of three roles: 1) inclusive business, 2) social enterprise, and 3) enabler. Expand the descriptions below to learn more.

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:




The Inclusive Economy Consortium invites stakeholders from business, government, academia and civil society to connect, share and act.


  • Network with global community of social impact professionals

  • Engage in dedicated discussion forum

  • List your organization in IEC Ecosystem

  • Get access to expertise and financing


  • Exchange knowledge with peers

  • Present at learning events and working groups

  • Contribute to and search members-only repository of local and global best practices


  • Combine efforts with fellow experts to produce collaborative research

  • Experiment with innovative inclusive practices and report findings

  • Publish thought leadership