A Role for Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid - Full Research

This study considers how business can help to alleviate poverty at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BOP) in the developing world, while acting commercially and making aprofit. In spite of the extreme nature of the poverty experienced by approximately two thirds of the world’s population, CK Prahalad of the University of Michigan and Stuart Hart of Cornell University have suggested that from the many small amounts of disposable income available a “fortune” could be made. To achieve this, companies are expected to base their strategy for BOP markets on large volumes of sales with small margins. This study, which Edgar Wille and Kevin Barham have carried out on behalf of Ashridge Business School, has examined the various perspectives and related activity by interviews, telephone discussions, and wide ranging internet and literature search, and has sought to identify working models by which progress could be made to alleviate the curse of dire poverty.

Wille, E. and Barham, K. (2009) A role for business at the bottom of the pyramid, Ashridge Report, January

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