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Business Solutions for the Global Poor: Creating Social and Economic Value

V. Kashturi Rangan (Editor), John A. Quelch (Editor), Gustavo Herrero (Editor), Brooke Barton (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-7879-8216-4
456 pages
January 2007, Jossey-Bass
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Based on research presented at The Harvard Business School’s first-ever conference on business approaches to poverty alleviation, Business Solutions for the Global Poor brings together perspectives from leading academics and corporate, non-profit and public sector managers. The contributors draw on practical and dynamic how-to insights from leading BOP ventures from more than twenty countries world-wide. This important volume reflects poverty’s multi-faceted nature and a broad range of actors—multinational and local businesses, entrepreneurs, civil society organizations and governments—that play a role in its alleviation.
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Table of Contents

PART 1: Just Who Are the Poor?

1 Microcredit and Poverty Alleviation Strategy for Women: Who Are the Customers?

2 Understanding Consumers and Retailers at the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America

3 Marketing Programs to Reach India's Underserved

PART 2: Meeting the Poor's Basic Needs

4 Brcko and the Arizona Market

5 Health Services for the Poor in Developing Countries: Private vs. Public vs. Private and Public

6 Fighting AIDS, Fighting Poverty: Customer Centric Marketing in the Generic Antiretroviral Business

7 Meeting Unmet Needs at the Base of the Pyramid: Mobile Healthcare for India's Poor

8 Patrimonio Hoy: A Groundbreaking Corporate Program to Alleviate Mexico's Housing Crisis

9 Energizing the Base of the Pyramid: Scaling-up Successful Business Models to Achieve Universal Electrification

10 Utilities and the Poor: A Story from Colombia

11 The Expansion of Public Services into Poor Areas: The Case of Piped Gas in Cuartel V – Moreno

PART 3: Building the BOP Value Chain

12 MULTIAHORRO: Barrio Store

13 Photography and the Low Income Classes in Brazil: A Case Study of Kodak

14 The Complex Business of Serving the Poor: Insights from Unilever's Project Shakti in India

15 Creating strong businesses by developing and leveraging the productive capacity of the poor

16 ITC's e-Choupal: A Platform Strategy for Rural Transformation

17 Nestle's Milk District Model: Economic Development for a Value-Added Food Chain and Improved Nutrition


18 Building New Business Value Chains with Low Income Sectors in Latin America

19 Developing Viable Business Models to Serve Low-Income Consumers: Lessons from the Philippines

20 When Giants Discover the Disadvantaged: Managerial Challenges and Success Factors in Building Capacity to Serve Underserved Markets


21 The Role of Financial Institutions in Revitalizing Low-Income Neighborhoods

22 Houses for the Poor and New Business for Banks: The Creation of a Market for Affordable Housing

23 The South African Financial Sector Charter: A Supplementary Market Framework to Achieve Affirmative Action

24 How Social Entrepreneurs Enable Human, Social, and Economic Development

25 Hybrid Value Chains: Social Innovations and the Development of the Small Farmer Irrigation Market in Mexico

26 Entrepreneurship and Poverty Alleviation in South Africa

27 A Gentler Capitalism: Black Business Leadership in the New South Africa


28 Microfinance: Business, Profitability, and the Creation of Social Value

29 Alleviating Global Poverty through Microfinance: Factors of Financial, Economic, and Social Performance

30 Strong Double Bottom Line Banking

31 H&R Block’s Refund Anticipation Loans: Perilous Profits at the Bottom of the Pyramid?

32 When is Doing Business with the Poor Good – for the Poor? A Household and National Income Accounting Approach

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Author Information

V. Kasturi (Kash) Rangan is the Malcolm P. McNair Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School and cochairman of the School's Social Enterprise Initiative.

John A. Quelch is senior associate dean and Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and?was formerly dean of London Business School.

Gustavo Herrero is the executive director of the HBS Latin American Research Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Brooke Barton is research associate with the HBS Global Poverty Initiative.

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New to This Edition

  • International Case studies from World Bank, South African breweries, Cemex (Mexico); Unilever (India); among others.
  • This book can be used in a variety of courses including: public policy, economics, political science, international business; international marketing.
  • An Instructor's Manual is available with this book.
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"This excellent collection including business contributions from 11 countries, demonstrates how creating shared value—for shareholders and society-s the basis for a long-term successful business."
—Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, chairman and CEO, Nestlé

"It is the rare mix of breadth and depth that makes this collection so extraordinary and so valuable. We are introduced to the world’s poor in detail, learn the many ways that business can help them work their way out of poverty, and told what governments and citizens’ groups must do to make this happen. Business leaders even discover how they can generate both economic and social value."
—Stephan Schmidheiny, founder, World Business Council for Sustainable Development 

"This book provides excellent case studies that vividly describe how new business models can address the problems and the opportunities at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’; it thereby shows how corporate social responsibility can be embedded into normal commercial operations. The fact that these case studies are drawn from many industries on several continents add greatly to its credibility."
—Antony Burgmans, chairman, Unilever

"This is a very important book. If it’s widely read and widely applied, it might even prove to be a world-changing book. Expert contributors from different nations take an unsentimental look at the world’s poorest 3 billion people and ask: are there new ways of doing business that could be both beneficial for the poor and profitable for companies? Their answers are imaginative, practical and encouragingly positive."
—Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

"This volume focuses on a challenge that business, worldwide, has hitherto not regarded as being within its ambition: the challenge of banishing poverty. . . . . The book makes a significant contribution towards setting business on that endeavor."
—Rattan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons Limited

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