Entrepreneurship and market creation at the Base of the Pyramid: field experiments towards sustainable capitalism?
From the late 90’s onwards, some American scholars have coined the term of “Base of the Pyramid” and formulated a proposal which legitimates the Companies involvement in poor communities through business ventures and new markets creations. BoP ventures and markets creations are supposed to produce economic sustainability and economic value for all stakeholders, while improving in a structural way the social and ecological conditions, allowing changes for sustainable development. Since then, “Base of the Pyramid” (BoP) and “Social Business” (and also “Inclusive Business”) initiatives have flourished, but few are reaching full success. The questions of value creation and sustainability in context of poverty and non-western communities are far from having found silver bullet solutions. The important question is “How”: how should a company behave to ensure the success, from a triple bottom line perspective, in such contexts? In this seminar, cases of BoP ventures will be presented and analyzed from this perspective: how could market and entrepreneurial initiatives succeed in both achieving economic goals and social transformation towards sustainability?