Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Business and the Global Poor

This week's issue of the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge newsletter has an interview with Kash Rangan that merits the attention of all social entrepreneurs. Here's a small taster to get you started:

Even when companies do carefully consider the economic and social impacts of their products on the poor, they may still face reputational threats if their BOP ventures are seen as "excessively profitable." Of course, it can be argued that without this profit, businesses targeting the poor will not attract the level of investment necessary to be sustainable or scaleable across the entire BOP. According to this view, above-average profitability should be seen as a sign of success, one that will no doubt invite competition and thereby bring down prices, ultimately benefiting the poor. To minimize negative public perception, however, companies that find that they are "profiting from the poor" must be willing to publicly address the profit debate, work collaboratively with NGOs and governments, and also measure and report on the social value they are creating for the poor.

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Blogger Shel Horowitz, author, Principled Profit said...


This is a very interesting post. As it happens, I'm just finishing reading "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid," which talks extensively about how large corporations can profit by serving the very poor. I'll be reviewing it in Tuesday's issue of my Positive Power of Principled Profit newsletter.

I believe very strongly in social entrepreneurship and would like to explore ways we can help each other reach different audiences and effect change in the wider society.

For starters, I'll have my assistant add you to my blogroll. And for seconds, if you contact me off-list shel [at] I'd like to invite you to join a discussion group for social change marketers.

Shel Horowitz, shel (AT), 800-683-WORD/413-586-2388

Marketing & publishing consultant/copywriter, award-winning author of

* Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts
People First

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* Grassroots Marketing: Getting Noticed in a Noisy World /

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