29 December 2010

Inclusive Business Guide: How to Develop Business and Fight Poverty

Fresh research and advice on how to develop business and fight poverty - or better foster prosperity - comes from the same authors that have been part involved in various leading reports by UNDP's "Growing Inclusive Markets" initiative. The new Inclusive Business Guide is the first comprehensive compilation providing cutting edge know-how and inspiration for newcomers and experienced practitioners alike. Mainly addressing a business audience, it features 20 case studies from around the world, relevant know-how and is packed with well selected recommended reading.
"It is the absence of broad-based business activity, not its presence,
that condemns much of humanity to suffering."

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General
I know both authors personally, Christina Gradl and Claudia Knobloch, and it's good to see the progress on the learning journey since Prahalad inspired so many companies to look for fortune at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP), estimated at over $5 trillion (!) local purchasing power. "Inclusive Business" seems to be the new mantra of a new generation of initiatives. It's broad enough to include various hybrid concepts combining sustainable business development with poverty reduction.

Some ideas stress the role of low-income segments (not to use the word "the poor") more on the consumer side, some more on the supply side; some come from the public sector while some are more business driven. As the overlap of these concepts can be quite confusing, the illustration below can help with some overview:

The large and growing BoP markets are the major opportunity for new ways of doing business good for people, the planet and profits. To untap this potential, innovation and a new awareness are required. This guide furthers the knowledge and takes readers through the 12 step business process from development to implementation to growth:

Read the full Inclusive Business Guide (PDF). All figures copyright endeva.
Happy new year 2011 with lots of success!