Next Billion - Development through Enterprise

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

16 Case Studies Chronicling BoP Ventures : A report from the BOP Global Network

By:Fernando Casado Cañeque

It's quite obvious that in this century there has been significant progress promoting Base of the Pyramid (BoP) businesses.  A growing number of ventures and initiatives have come forward, and we see a continuous increase of events, publications international conferences and workshops dealing with such issues.

Organizations working today on innovative models range from multinational corporations, co-operatives, small and medium-sized enterprises, governments, public institutions and international organizations, and even not-for-profit organizations that use business principles—or social business approaches—to achieve their mission.

However, even with this rapid increase of practitioners and projects, there is still a shortage of case studies documenting BoP projects that have had a positive impact achieving financial results and enabling more inclusive and sustainable markets, while also empowering local communities.

Whether it’s academic researchers or startup entrepreneurs, many groups request specific examples on how the BoP space is providing a real impact on low-income communities and on businesses return of investment. Thus, there is a need to identify and document successful cases in order to inspire the growing community of practitioners and make sure successful projects get replicated and maximize potential impact.

The BoP Global Network, as a platform of action formed by a vibrant community of academics and practitioners in more than 18 countries, engages in knowledge creation and dissemination about creating sustainable businesses at the base of the economic pyramid. A key component of our network’s main objective is to promote knowledge transfer that inspires action and enhances impact.

With this core mission in mind, the report “Raising the Base of the Pyramid Through Enterprise - Innovative Case Studies of BoP Ventures and Initiatives” has been published. The report documents 16 case studies implemented by the BoP Global Network Learning Labs (also known as Innovation Centers) from around the world.

The report will be presented at the BOP Global Network Summit, which will take place in Sao Paulo this week (Nov. 7-8).

We look forward to your comments and hope this report helps to inspire and promote change towards achieving the more sustainable and inclusive society we all want.

Fernando Casado Cañeque is the founder and director of GlobalCAD and the associate director of the BOP Global Network.