23.02.23

Taking action for a more inclusive network

The YBI Inclusivity Toolkit was launched in October, a powerful resource for the network to put inclusivity into practice. Through the extensive co-creation and piloting process that we used to develop the toolkit, YBI members have not only started critical conversations about inclusivity, but have taken action with transformative results for their own organisations and for the entrepreneurs that they serve across the world. In this piece written by our consultant partners InkDot, they explore what the toolkit has meant for the YBI network.

How might we make inclusivity tangible, relevant and action-oriented, so that a global network of organisations can put it into practice in their various contexts? This was the big challenge that we set out to address through the Inclusivity Lab. Working alongside the YBI team, InkDot implemented a participatory process to develop a toolkit that met the needs of YBI members when it comes to inclusivity.

The YBI community of entrepreneurship support organisations is incredibly varied – a geographic representation of more than 40 countries, some large organisations and some smaller, each operating in unique cultural contexts. Building the toolkit in a collaborative way was critical in order to develop something that meets organisations where they are, and enables them to take action whether they are new to inclusivity or already firmly on the journey.

The co-creation and piloting included nine network organisations: Development Solutions (Mongolia), ideiaLab (Mozambique), Habitat (Turkey), MicroLab(Italy), Youth Business SpainManq’a (Bolivia), CAPYEI(Kenya), PCS (Palestine), B’Yeah (Bangladesh). Additional testing of the toolkit was done with members in Japan, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, Botswana, Germany and Indonesia. It was only through this extensive input from members that we were able to develop a toolkit that is relevant and impactful.

 InkDot Co-founder, Sarah Owusu, shares:

“The diversity present across the YBI network is no small thing! We are incredibly inspired by the work that members are doing and their deep commitment to understanding and putting inclusivity into action, within their own organisations and for the entrepreneurs and communities that they serve.” 

This commitment was validated through member receptiveness to the toolkit; each organisation embraced the process, put the tools to use diligently, and as a result were able to bring about significant changes. In just five months, we have seen members improve internal awareness of inclusivity, define inclusivity commitments through participatory team workshops and retreats, integrate inclusivity in organisational policies such as staff recruitment and selection, adapt trainings and events to meet the needs of underserved populations, make digital inclusion a priority for online programs, increase the representation of youth and women as trustees and in decision-making.

The process of developing the Inclusivity Toolkit, and watching members navigate their own inclusivity journeys, really demonstrates what becomes possible when organisations are willing to reassess and reimagine their ways of working. And it shows us that inclusivity is not something intangible or theoretical, but rather something that every organisation must take seriously and put into practice.

For us at InkDot, there are many learnings to take forward as we come to the end of the Inclusivity Labs process. Owusu emphasises, “We are not diversity, equity and inclusion specialists, but we know that innovation and inclusivity go hand-in-hand. No team, organisation or company can be truly innovative if they don’t ensure that a diversity of voices are uplifted, and actively given space to make a difference.”

The toolkit is a resource to support you in doing just that, no matter where you are starting from.

The Inclusivity Toolkit is available to all YBI members for download in the latest members’ newsletter.

InkDotis a boutique innovation consultancy committed to building the innovation capability of people, teams and organisations, and to facilitating creative problem solving processes to come up with beautiful solutions to complex challenges.

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