Ashley Insight

Caroline Ashley

Services and Expertise

Since founding of the company in 2011, Ashley Insight has provided services on inclusive business and results measurement to a range of companies, donor-business programmes and business-NGO partnerships. The focus is on companies and portfolios that combine commercial return with social impact at the "base of the pyramid".  Services fall into five broad areas:


1. Analysis of progress, results, strategy - across a host of inclusive business models and portfolios

At firm level, Ashley Insight provided expertise to conduct an end of Year 1 review for the Board of a nut processor in Malawi, a review of strategic options to engage unemployed youth for a newspaper group in Nigeria, plus advice on supply chain challenges to a multinational mining company based in London.

At portfolio level, Ashley Insight input has supported or reviewed entire portfolios of inclusive businesses supported by funds or programmes. Several Ashley Insight team members are currently supporting SMEs in low-income countries to partner with innovative companies in India, to grow their inclusive business. The team is also reviewing the business performance of SMEs in East Africa within the Spring Accelerator programme, which focuses on SMEs that reach girls.

2. Support to companies to manage and track social, and establish Performance Indicators

Ashley Insight provides strategic advice to the leading fertiliser company, Yara International, to assess progress of its smallholder transformation strategy in Tanzania.

Ashley Insight has provided guidance to inclusive businesses on their KPIs and social performance metrics including 3 agro-processing companies in Malawi (in groundnuts, cassava and fruit pulp), a rural distribution network in Bangladesh, and a rural healthcare franchisor in Zambia.

We are currently helping an international fertiliser company engaging with smallholders in Africa to improve performance measurement and results tracking.

3. Design and implementation of results framework for impact investors, funds and challenge funds supporting business

Ashley Insight has led or supported design of the results framework for:

Connect to Grow, a DFID-supported programme catalysing innovation transfer among businesses that contribute to improved health or agricultural livelihoods in low-income countries.

The DFID Impact Programme, designing a system to track social and financial results across multiple levels, from DFID, to CDC’s fund of funds, through fund managers and to investee and beneficiary level.

The Business Innovation Facility, covering a portfolio of hundreds of inclusive businesses over 4 years.

The Innovations Against Poverty programme, covering a portfolio of +/- 60 start-ups over 3.5 years.

An ambitious health partnership between an international NGO and a global pharmaceutical company, aiming to save 1 million lives.

4. Design and review of donor programmes that engage with business

Having been a grantee recipient of challenge fund support in the past, served at Director level on recent and current donor programmes that invest in inclusive business, the company founder, Caroline Ashley, regularly provides advice on design and improvement of donor-funded programmes that support business. This includes supporting the set-up phase of Global Innovation Fund, strategy advice to the Business Call to Action, input on design of a new women’s economic empowerment fund, review work for Spring accelerator, provision of expert testimony to a House of Commons Select Committee investigation into models for financial instruments of support, and input to DFID and European donors on lessons learnt from experience.

5. Exchange of knowledge on inclusive business - online and face-to-face

Ashley Insight runs the Practitioner Hub on Inclusive Business, an online platform that serves as a gateway to information and source of good practice advice, for practitioners in inclusive business

Ashley Insight team members include the Executive Editor, Hub Manager, and Marketing Coordinator for the Hub. We have developed partnerships with a range of leading organisations to develop, curate and disseminate content globally. Hub Editor, Caroline Ashley, frequently hosts webinars to distil opinions and good practice from a range of experts.

In 2015 the Hub teamed up with The Inclusive Business Action Network to compile and create SearchInclusiveBusiness.org the first online searchable database of inclusive business publications.

In 2015, the Ashley Insight team jointly with Endeva analysed 300 businesses and 30 business models that deliver improved health, energy, water, sanitation, financial services, for the World Bank.

Caroline is known for her thought leadership in the fields of inclusive business, impact investment and results measurement, and frequently engages in advisory input or conferences on these topics.

To date, the company has supported inclusive business approaches of Yara International, social enterprises in Africa and Asia, DFID, Sida, the Global Innovation Fund, Business Call to Action, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, Spring accelerator, and the Save the Children-GSK partnership.

Ashley Insight works closely with our strategic partner endeva. Contracts are often carried out in collaboration with other partners including Triple Line, PwC UK, PwC Sweden, GRM, Coffey and Imani Development.





Ashley Insight 2017 | Site Design

Caroline Ashley
Ashley Insight has led or supported design of the results framework for:

Connect to Grow, a DFID-supported programme catalysing innovation transfer among businesses that contribute to improved health or agricultural livelihoods in low-income countries.

The DFID Impact Programme, designing a system to track social and financial results across multiple levels, from DFID, to CDC’s fund of funds, through fund managers and to investee and beneficiary level.

The Business Innovation Facility, covering a portfolio of hundreds of inclusive businesses over 4 years.

The Innovations Against Poverty programme, covering a portfolio of +/- 60 start-ups over 3.5 years.

An ambitious health partnership between an international NGO and a global pharmaceutical company, aiming to save 1 million lives.

Services and Expertise

Since founding of the company in 2011, Ashley Insight has provided services on inclusive business and results measurement to a range of companies, donor-business programmes and business-NGO partnerships. The focus is on companies and portfolios that combine commercial return with social impact at the "base of the pyramid".  Services fall into five broad areas:


1. Analysis of progress, results, strategy - across a host of inclusive business models and portfolios - show details

2. Support to companies to manage and track social, and establish Performance Indicators - show details

3. Design and implementation of results framework for impact investors, funds and challenge funds supporting business - show details

4. Design and review of donor programmes that engage with business - show details

5. Exchange of knowledge on inclusive business - online and face-to-face - show details

To date, the company has supported inclusive business approaches of Yara International, social enterprises in Africa and Asia, DFID, Sida, the Global Innovation Fund, Business Call to Action, Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank, Spring accelerator, and the Save the Children-GSK partnership.

Ashley Insight works closely with our strategic partner endeva. Contracts are often carried out in collaboration with other partners including Triple Line, PwC UK, PwC Sweden, GRM, Coffey and Imani Development.

Ashley Insight 2017 | Site Design
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