The Group of 20 on Tuesday evening announced that Bakhresa Grain Milling Malawi is among 15 winners of the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation.

The awards, won by companies in Asia, Africa and North and South America, were given through a global competition managed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

Ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome, Executive Secretary of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the G20 Development Working Group, presented the awards.

The world’s leading economies launched the G20 Challenge to rapidly expand commercially viable businesses that serve a large numbers of low-income people that constitute the base of the global economic pyramid.

IFC Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Lars Thunell said the competition’s goal is to identify, showcase and support innovative business models that can be replicated across developing countries.

“The winners demonstrate that commercially viable companies can also provide economic opportunities for poor people — along with better access to clean water, electricity, health care, education, housing, phone services, and financial services. They provide impressive models for others to follow,” said Thunell.

The 15 winners together reach more than 40 million people living at the base of the economic pyramid — as suppliers, distributors, retailers, or customers — in more than 10 countries.

Bakhresa Grain Milling Malawi produces and sells wheat flour to commercial bakeries, small bakeries, retailers and supermarkets.

The company offers its flour in small packages of 5 to 10 kg, which makes it easy for small retailers to buy and uses vans to reach remote rural areas and distribute its products.

“Most importantly, BGM helps individuals, many of them women, launch their own microbusinesses, offering training programmes and workshops on how to sell baked goods. It trains them in bookkeeping and sales and offers workshops on how to use, store, and market flour and bread products, empowering these women to make their own living,” IFC said.

The other winners include Mexico’s Agrofinanzas which helps improve the lives of rural Mexican farmers and food producers by providing financing to them, Ecofiltro from Guatemala which manufactures low-cost water filters that can be assembled using local materials and labour, Reybanpac Unidad de Lácteo (Ecuador), which helps combat malnutrition by providing affordable high-protein dairy drinks with milk purchased from small farmers.

From the United States, Sustainable Harvest Coffee Importers which helps small coffee farmers in Central and South America and East Africa improve their lives by buying their coffee at fair prices.

Since 2005, IFC has invested over US$6 billion in more than 200 companies that focus on inclusive business models, in more than 80 countries around the world, reaching more than 200 million people.

IFC’s Inclusive Business Models Group, launched in 2010, promotes the sharing of experiences in inclusive business models and connects people, resources and ideas in support of its clients.

The IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector helping developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilising capital in the international financial markets.

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