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Which businesses actually help the global poor?

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Purpose ‐ This paper suggests that BoP producer businesses provide greater potential positive impact on poverty alleviation than BoP consumer businesses. With this purpose, the authors explore the positive short-term and long-term economic effects of BoP producer businesses on the poor and compare these effects with those from BoP consumer businesses. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper applies several economic and organizational theories to BoP businesses to shed light on the value each creates for the poor. Findings ‐ It is argued that BoP producer businesses create more economic value for the poor by providing these societies with access to markets, capital and capabilities, and organizational advantages they currently lack. Practical implications ‐ Implications for the poor, businesses considering opportunities at the BoP, and future research are discussed. Originality/value ‐ With the help of economic theories, this paper describes the ways in which access to markets, well-established organizations, and technology help remedy poverty. This paper also contributes to the BoP literature by focusing upon BoP producer businesses. By comparing BoP consumer and producer businesses, the authors highlight several advantages of production at the BoP.
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Keywords: Base of the Pyramid; Developing countries; Economic growth; Poverty alleviation; Technology transfer

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2013

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