Scaling handbook

A step-by-step guide on how to set up a scaling program

In 2015/16 GSEN, in partnership with GIZ (working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development), created a scaling handbook on how to help inclusive businesses achieve scale. It aims at helping private sector development programs and business development services to support the scaling up and replication of inclusive businesses in a systematically integrated and cost-effective manner.

scaling social enterprises

Inclusive business models are beneficial both for poor communities and the economy: They explicitly target the world’s poorest and provide goods, services and livelihoods on a commercially viable basis, either at scale or scalable, to people living at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP). Inclusive businesses include people from the BoP into their core business as suppliers, distributors, retailers and customers. Supporting inclusive businesses to reach scale can lead to fast and visible impacts and benefits. Our handbook shows you how.

The handbook will be of value to you if you are looking for:

  • a hands-on and user-friendly guide,
  • a step-by-step description of how to set up a scaling program
  • best-in-class know-how, tools and methods, and
  • plenty of online resources and case studies

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At the core of the handbook lies a seven stage framework guiding readers through the cycles of preparation, implementation and follow up of an acceleration program.


Each of our seven chapters is dedicated to one stage and provides a step-by-step description of the measures required. Additionally, they each contain online resources such as case studies, checklists, potential partner databases, platforms or questionnaires that enable you to prepare, implement and evaluate an inclusive business scaling program. Altogether, the handbook represents a flexible and iterative process that is adaptable to country- or sector- specific conditions.

If you are interested in using this handbook, please contact us.

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