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.

Articles by William Kramer

  • William Kramer

    Back to the Future: Oxfam Report Is More of the Same

    Oxfam International has just published a report, “In the Public Interest: Health, Education and Water and Sanitation For All.” One can hardly dispute some its assumptions - it’s a scandal that people go without basic services, the money is theoretically there to solve problems, aid...

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  • William Kramer

    Vodafone’s New M-Banking Reports

    Of the MNCs with which we have worked, none goes to greater lengths than Vodafone to create opportunities to listen to its “stakeholders” - and the company counts us as one.? I attended such an occasion in New York Wednesday evening, linked to the publication of a new Vodafone report,...

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  • William Kramer

    There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way – China in Africa

    Elizabeth Economy and Karen Monaghan write in the International Herald Tribune (The perils of Beijing’s Africa strategy) that China is quickly creating blowback in Africa despite its purportedly “hands off politics” approach.? You would be hard-pressed to design a more anti-BOP...

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  • William Kramer

    Remittances and Development – More to Say?

    Let me share with you my state of mind after finishing a careful reading of the full World Bank report on Latin American remittances, Close to Home: The Development Impact of Remittances in Latin America. On the one hand, it is a closely reasoned, and (as far as this non-economist can...

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  • William Kramer

    Remittances: The New York Times Gets It

    Today’s New York Times has an editorial “Wiring Development” that, to my mind, picks up on what is really important from the IADB remittance study, “Sending Money Home", namely the opportunity for Latin American banks to turn remittance recipients (and senders, too) into...

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  • William Kramer

    Remittance News Coverage Missing the Mark

    I came in today thinking, “wow, what a range of takes on the new World Bank study (pdf) on Latin American remittances released yesterday.” We reported last week on the IADB remittance report and the reaction from CNN and Lou Dobbs, in which an immigration and values debate provided...

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  • William Kramer

    Shame on CNN: Remittances Become Political

    I attended the press conference Wednesday, at which the new findings on remittances. Interviews with 2500+ migrants in the US, the IADB (research by Bendixen & Associates) give us a statistically valid picture of the dimensions of US-LAC remittances, and the IADB concludes that the number...

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  • William Kramer

    Is the Hundred Dollar Laptop a Real Business?

    It was reported last week that Nicolas Negoponte and Libya reached an agreement to supply 1.2 million of the $100 computers to Libyan schoolchildren for $250 million. I was intrigued by the agreement, the math for which points up one of the problems with the effort - the computer itself may...

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