Base of the Pyramid


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Inclusive business models in low-income contexts

Our research focuses on sustainable innovations for and with low-income individuals and communities in emerging markets – often termed as the Base of the Pyramid (BOP).

More than half of the world's population lives in acute poverty. Worldwide, about four billion people earn less than 5 euros a day in local purchasing power. Over the past decade, market-based approaches have gained popularity as potent tools in poverty alleviation. We are particularly interested in inclusive business models and practices that aim to alleviate poverty without risking ecological sustainability – and simultaneously make business sense.

In inclusive business, people with low incomes are not seen only as consumers, but as innovators, entrepreneurs, employees and business partners. Collaboration with local companies and entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations, academia and officials is also central.

At Aalto University, we have been studying inclusive business models in low-income contexts since 2006.

Miten innovoida kehittyvillä markkinoilla? Opas suomalaisille yrityksille.

How to innovate in developing markets? Guide for Finnish companies.

Published in May 2015. The guide is targeted for Finnish SMEs interested in BOP markets. Writers: Sini Suomalainen and Minna Halme.

>>  Guide for Inclusive Innovation in BOP markets.pdf

Published in June 2012. The guide is targeted for Finnish SMEs interested in BOP markets.