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  • The Next Billion

    The economic boom in emerging markets has bypassed a distinct group-the next billion consumers-whose potential to become viable customers has been greatly underestimated. Sitting on the brink of commercial viability, these consumers are stranded between the formal and informal sectors. Companies that embrace them can grab a disproportionate share of a massive revenue and profit pool. In fact, the next billion could determine the winners and losers in many industries and herald the rise of new ...

    The Boston Consulting Group (link opens in a new window)
  • The latest report from the Aspen Institute finds that courses dealing with the bottom of the pyramid -- markets serving the world’s poor -- are growing exponentially in business programs around the world. The report highlights data from a biennial survey conducted by the Business and Society Program at the Aspen Institute. The Beyond Grey Pinstripes report surveys 112 business schools in 23 countries about their educati...

    Source (link opens in a new window)
  • Privatize Foreign Aid?

    No subject has occupied more time at international conclaves than foreign aid. It’s been called North-South transfers, debt forgiveness and the .7% solution. Back in 2005, Tony Blair’s G-8 summit pledged $25 billion annually in new government assistance to Africa by 2010 on top of the $25 billion a year already in the pipeline. The G-8 is nowhere near meeting that commitment. So how about this alternative? Turn all foreign assistance over to the private sector. That’s alre...

    Wall Street Journal (link opens in a new window)
  • Moving in to New Markets

    Business consultant CK Prahalad can see why big corporations are moving into low-income markets The world’s biggest corporations are scrambling to tap a market they have largely ignored for decades - the world’s four billion poor people. From South Africa to Brazil, companies like Danone and Unilever sell individual packets of yoghurt and soap in rural villages and urban open-air markets. In the telecommunications sector, the biggest growth area is among the poor, w...

    Irish Times via Evergreen (link opens in a new window)
  • Dial M for Money

    IT HAS already changed most people’s lives, but there is more work ahead for the mobile phone. The trusty SIM card can also act as a debit and credit card. That means it may only be a matter of time before mobile phones are used to deposit, transfer and withdraw cash. In the developed world, one of the barriers hindering the switch to mobile cash has been the costly infrastructure developed by banks and credit-card companies. With cash machines and bank branches at every street co...

    The Economist (link opens in a new window)
  • In Poorer Nations, Cellphones Help Open Up Microfinancing

    In many developing countries, where bank branches and A.T.M.?s are few or nonexistent in rural areas, cellphones may finally make financial services practical such places, fitting in the palm of one?s hand. Mobile devices have the potential to take financial markets outside urban areas, allowing banks to provide services like loans and savings accounts in rural regions, according to a report by Vodafone and Nokia, published last week. Microfinance institutions provide small...

    New York Times (link opens in a new window)
  • Aneel Karnani: A ’Poor’ Market

    In PPP terms, the market at the bottom of the pyramid is $1.42 trillion, a far cry from the $13 trillion estimated by others. A movement that emphasises free markets to reduce poverty has grown strong in recent years, and has caught the attention of executives, academics and public officials. C K Prahalad argues in his popular book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, that selling to the poor people at the ’bottom of the pyramid’ (BOP) can simultaneously be profitable a...

    Business Standard (link opens in a new window)
  • Intel Inside the Third World

    A marginal player in cellular markets, Intel must find a way to sell to the next billion, industry lingo for consumers in the developing world who don’t yet have easy access to the Internet. The education market?and products such as the Classmate?presents a major opportunity, says Martin Gilliland, Asia-Pacific research director for Gartner Inc. (IT ), because even if Intel’s margins on such devices are razor-thin, volumes could soar into the hundreds of millions. Intel could...

    BusinessWeek (link opens in a new window)
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