Putting the Poor First: How Base-of-the-Pyramid Ventures Can Learn from Development Approaches
"Putting the Poor First" examines the applicability of different elements in the bottom-up development literature to the innovation process of BoP ventures. It unveils connections between the two approaches and builds a theoretical base for the case study research. With three in-depth case studies and eight companies participating in a survey, the current state and experiences of businesses applying a bottom-up development perspective with BoP ventures in Latin America and the Caribbean is analysed. The elements of a bottom-up development perspective applied in BoP practice can be grouped into three categories: drivers for choosing a bottom-up development perspective in BoP ventures (e.g. such that products and services are more readily accepted); circumstances that help or hinder the application of a bottom-up development perspective in BoP ventures (e.g. the acceptance of the company by communities or previous experiences with poverty alleviation projects); and success factors when choosing a bottom-up development perspective in BoP ventures (e.g. the importance of power structures, pluralism and self-esteem). The many recommendations, such as empowering the poor by encouraging co-creation and outsourcing innovation, fill gaps in theory, support practitioners and lay the foundations for further research.