The UN Growing Inclusive Markets brings a strategic matrix for business trying to engage in BoP-projects or growing inclusive markets. The Matrix creates an overview of the most common constraints found in BoP-projects, and the most commonly used strategies to overcome these constraints. The matrix is of course rather general, but in this way it can provide an overview and a ‘map’ to navigate the field. However, you will need more specific methodologies also for how to actually engage in relations with local people, NGO’s, government, etc.
The report also has 50 examples of successful BoP-projects which you can read about in depth on the website also.
Growing Inclusive Markets – 50 cases
The initiative from UN about Growing Inclusive Markets have launched a report with a strategic matrix of barriers and solutions for doing Base of the Pyramid Innovation. The matrix is based on the analysis of 50 cases from around the world. They are briefly mentioned in the report. If you go to the website, you can search among the cases based on different criteria such as region or business area, and you get a fuller description of the case. Good stuff for insight and inspiration!
Find it here: www.growinginclusivemarkets.org
Since the turn of the century there has been an increased focus on the role and the opportunities of the private sector in creating not only economical but also social and environmental development in developing countries. Simultaneously, within business and amongst consumers, there is a growing focus on the social responsibility and ethics of business. It seems, that the business of business is not only business anymore.
The concept of “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP) was coined by professor C.K. Prahalad with the book “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” in 2002. Another important figure in this field is Stuart Hart from Cornell University, who has been a co-thinker together with Prahalad, and amongst other publications wrote “Capitalism at the Crossroads”, where he draws a strategic framework for business go “go beyond green” and engage directly in corporate social innovation to do good and do well.
The basic idea for the cross-over between business and development is, that business can provide products and services that are very much needed among poor people in both urban and rural areas, and that this should be done by building business models that includes the people not only as consumers, but also as producers and employees, thereby giving them the income to buy the products and services they need, and to create a life of well being. Companies can in this way create new markets and at the same time alleviate poverty and other pressing problems. This is what the United Nations has termed development through creating inclusive markets.
Sitting in the restaurant in a fancy Delhi hotel enjoying the cosmopolitan life around me must be the best ambience for sparking my path as a blog poster. And actually this post was supposed to be published long time ago, but alash… time flies. So here we go.
Innovating for a better future
I am very excited to embark on this new combined research and consultancy project about People Centred Innovation with Base of the Pyramid. For the next six months I will be exploring how we can create new products and business models to improve the life of the half of the world’s population who is getting by on less than 4 usd a day (in comparative purchasing power as if they were living in the US), and how we can put people first and include their needs and aspirations, and their knowledge and resources in this. The UN calls it Growing Inclusive Markets. Continue reading