Harvard gets serious about BOP

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Similar to the Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid report, Harvard Business School (HBS) released its own study.

Only about 50 out of over 60,000 multinational companies worldwide have tried to penetrate the $5 trillion market at the bottom of the pyramid, said Kash Rangan—one of the four authors: "Globalization has helped emerging economies distribute their products and services around the world but there’s been no systematic way to link the extra wealth that has been created to spur poverty alleviation at the BOP."

"Only through a commercial approach can you achieve all those things, and the great power of microfinance comes through its ability to generate profit. There is no contradiction between social impact and good profitability; in fact, profitability is central to that social impact." Added Michael Chu who co-teaches with Rangan an MBA course: "Business and the Bottom of the Pyramid."

The Harvard BOP portfolio will soon be enhanced by a first-of-the-kind electronic library featuring cases, articles and other materials on the subject.

So they have a book, a class and a database, you say, but why no conference? Well…, on April 22 the HBS campus will host its first Microfinance Symposium, featuring the CEO of CGAP.

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