Contributor.

William Kramer
Global Challenge Network

William Kramer is the Founder and President of the Global Challenge Network.

During six years at WRI, Mr. Kramer also served as a Senior Fellow, and as Deputy Director of the Development Through Enterprise Program. He was director of a groundbreaking conference on business engagement with low-income populations, Eradicating Poverty Through Profit: Making Business Work for the Poor, in San Francisco, December 2004, which drew 1200 participants from 70 countries, and defined the nascent field of “base of the pyramid” (BOP) studies. He was instrumental in establishing www.nextbillion.net, the leading blog focusing on issues of business engagement with low-income populations, where he was a frequent contributor.

In his 30 years in the private sector, Mr. Kramer built numerous businesses in bookselling, book distribution, and publishing. He invented the modern bookstore/café, opening Kramerbooks & Afterwords in Washington in 1976, laying the foundation for the still-dominant business model in the industry. He also established the firm which became Daedalus Books, a leading purveyor of high-quality sale books and remainders.

Bill is a principal author of The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid, the first data-based study of business engagement with the poor, published in 2007 by WRI and the International Finance Corporation.

He is the author of numerous articles for popular and academic audiences, including recent articles for the MIT journal, Innovations, Vodafone’s Corporate Responsibility Dialogues, and the Kennedy School of Government. He has delivered lectures to many corporate and association meetings, and given lectures at leading business schools around the world.

Posts by William Kramer

  • William Kramer

    Farmers Rejoice: Exploitative Middlemen in the Spotlight

    The Financial Times (US) published a full-page article October 2 entitled "To feed a need" that brought to mind research that WRI generated back in 2003 on the Indian conglomerate, ITC, and its rural engagement strategy called e-Choupal. The article and the case study document the benefits of direct market access by poor rural farmers in India.

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  • William Kramer

    Red Hat Making BOP Play

    One of my regular news feeds brought this item to my attention, and it struck me as perhaps a meaningful watershed.? Red Hat, the Linux software/middleware company, just announced last week the launch of its “Global Desktop” -- enterprise software at affordable prices.? Red Hat has...

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  • William Kramer

    Jane Nelson on Business’ Role in Development

    Jane Nelson, who wears many hats (IBLF, Kennedy School, Brookings), spoke yesterday at a meeting of the Global Poverty Roundtable at the GlobalWorks Foundation here in Washington. Jane offered a wide-ranging, yet concise summary of all of the ways business can engage in development. Jane said ...

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  • William Kramer

    Grassroots Business Initiative Grows Tall

    I attended an all-day workshop at the IFC yesterday on their Grassroots Business Initiative (GBI). A half dozen of the Initiative’s enterprises from Africa, Asia, and Latin America, and 30 or so GBI partners also attended, along with their program staff. The meeting was conducted under...

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  • William Kramer

    TN4B: Focus on Financial Services

    The Next 4 Billion includes a whole chapter on a topic for which we were unable to present a single, real number from our analysis of household surveys. Not surprisingly, the chapter is short. So, why did we include it, if we couldn?t report any numbers? And why do we recommend it to you?...

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  • William Kramer

    On Remittances as a Platform

    Let me add my thoughts to Bal Joshi’s fine post of 12/6 and AnnaLee Saxenian’s reply of 12/8. I couldn’t agree more with most of the points made in both. The notion of remittances as a development platform is just right, in my view, and Ms. Saxenian strikes a fair balance on...

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  • William Kramer

    Google.org Hiring BOP Staff

    NB’s Chapel Hill NC correspondent, Jacob Kramer-Duffield, has sent an interesting job posting our way.? Jake, a former sometime WRI staffer, and now a PhD student at UNC’s School of Information and Library Science, keeps close tabs on the goings-on at Google.? Google.org, the...

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  • William Kramer

    AMD Says Press Report on 50×15 Inaccurate

    NextBillion has spoken with 50x15 project management, and has been told that the press report of the project’s demise is not correct. AMD representatives claim that the report was generated due to a misrepresented SEC filing. AMD says that the PIC will continue, 50x15 is still a goal, and...

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