Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise Announces BoP Essay Contest Winners

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Johnson at Cornell University is pleased to announce the winners of its fourth annual Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Short Essay Competition. Sponsored by USAID and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the competition highlights the challenges of doing business in underserved markets and identifies innovative business experiments or solutions for those challenges.

“The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise promotes applied research on innovation and new market creation in underserved communities, otherwise known as the Base of the Pyramid,” said Monica Touesnard, associate director of the Center. “This year, applicants were asked to provide financial models illustrating the success of their business and its impact in improving the livelihoods for the world’s poorest people and communities.”

The worldwide competition attracted more than 100 submissions from 27 countries, illustrating a diverse array of business ideas and solutions in 36 different countries. Judges with expertise working and investing in businesses in low-income communities used a double-blind review process to select the winners. They evaluated the quality of writing, as well as whether the initiative illustrated a unique approach to poverty alleviation, through a current business model, product, service, or technology. The winning submissions were able to clearly articulate a business challenge that an organization is, either a non-profit or for-profit enterprise, is working to overcome in low-income communities.

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