Here is the latest update on what we are up to here at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) in the inclusive business space, as part of our Action2020 platform.
In keeping with the traditional format of this update, we have also embedded in this blog some blurbs and links referring to interesting insights and news articles published over the past couple of months.
Across Latin America and the Caribbean, companies of all sizes are competing to meet the basic needs and aspirations of the base of the pyramid (BoP) for a better life.
In view of further strengthening its role as regional platform for dialogue and know-how on the road toward creating an industry ecosystem on inclusive business solutions that cater to the aforementioned needs and aspirations, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) convened the third international conference BASE III from June 29 to July 1, 2015 in Mexico City.
The forum brought together some 1,000 business executives, government officials, investors, international organizations, public sector representatives, NGOs, and academia from three dozen countries, keen on catalyzing inclusive business solutions for the BOP across the region and beyond.
The second BoP Global Network Summit took place on July 16 and 17 in Burlington, Vermont. The Summit was organized by Enterprise for a Sustainable World (ESW) and University of Vermont (UVM) in collaboration with the BoP Global Labs. It brought together corporate innovators, academics, entrepreneurs, students, and BoP Global Lab leaders from a wide range of countries. Speakers from large companies included World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) members CEMEX, KPMG, PepsiCo, and Tata.
The central theme was “Sustainable Entrepreneurship from the Bottom Up”. The overall objective across the mix of plenary and working sessions was to “provoke, discuss, and act” around the challenges faced by companies in developing and scaling inclusive business ventures targeting this market segment.
Session themes (see full agenda here) addressed questions such as: Where will the disruptive and leapfrog technologies come from? Can BoP business logic be applied to the developed world? How can we think beyond silos and adopt a systems thinking approach? How to learn from failed inclusive business ventures? What are effective national policies supporting this agenda? How to link supply chains with product innovation.
Vision 2050 of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) plots a pathway to a world in which 9 billion people live well and within the boundaries of the planet. To deliver tangible outcomes along this pathway, here at the Council we underscore the role and the opportunity for forward-thinking companies to catalyze and scale up solutions that drive greater social inclusion and sustainable development in emerging markets.
In an article recently published in Thinkers, an Indian quarterly magazine, I shared the WBCSD's views on the scalability of inclusive business ventures targeting the base of the pyramid by expanding access to goods, services, and livelihoods in commercially viable ways.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched a revealing study with new data, market intelligence and statistics about the market and population at the base of the pyramid (BOP) across Latin America and the Caribbean.
Using national household and expenditure surveys, the study presents data on the BOP market size, socioeconomic characteristics, market segments, expenditure patterns, and demand-related factors. It also provides insights into what the region's BOP consumers want and identifies underserved markets and business opportunities.
The report does not limit itself to data analysis, though. It also examines the supply side of BOP markets and analyzes what types of business models, distribution channels, and input sources have enabled enterprises to successfully engage the BOP market in the region.