Rob Katz

Cornell Announces Base of the Pyramid Essay Competition

Cornell Johnson School logoThe Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management is accepting submissions for its 2008 Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Narrative Competition. This short-essay competition seeks to highlight the challenges of implementing business in underserved markets and identify innovative business initiatives or solutions to those challenges.

The 2008 BoP Narrative Competition (PDF) has been created to help identify cutting-edge experiences of business innovation in underserved or marginalized communities.Winning submissions must clearly articulate a business challenge that an organization working in low-income communities is striving to overcome, in addition to the resulting business model or initiative. Experiences and business models may be successful or unsuccessful, provided the challenge and solution-attempt is elaborated upon.

Organizations highlighted may be either non-profit or for-profit enterprises. Initiatives highlighted should illustrate a unique approach to poverty alleviation through an innovative product, service, technology, or business model.

This competition may be of particular interest to students of business, development, journalism and the social sciences working in unique situations for the summer or exposed to unique experiences in economically challenged areas of the world.

Winning essays will earn prizes ranging from $1000 to $4000 (4 total prizes) and will be featured here on

More information, including detailed criteria and submission guidelines, can be found here (PDF).