The Business Solution to Poverty

The Business Solution to Poverty

Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Ingram Publishing Services
Right now the number of people living on $2 a day or less is more than the entire population of the world in 1950. These 2.7 billion people are not just the world’s greatest challenge—they represent an extraordinary market opportunity. By learning how to serve them ethically and effectively, businesses can earn handsome profits while helping to solve one of the world’s most intractable problems.

The key is what Paul Polak and Mal Warwick call Zero-Based Design: starting from scratch to create innovative products and services tailored for the very poor, armed with a thorough understanding of what they really want and need and driven by what they call “the ruthless pursuit of affordability.”Polak has been doing this work for years, and Warwick has extensive experience in both business and philanthropy. Together, they show how their design principles and vision can enable unapologetic capitalists to supply the very poor with clean drinking water, electricity, irrigation, housing, education, healthcare, and other necessities at a fraction of the usual cost and at profit margins attractive to investors.

Promising governmental and philanthropic efforts to end poverty have not reached scale because they lack the incentives of the market to attract massive resources. This book opens an extraordinary opportunity for nimble entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives that will result not only in vibrant, growing businesses but also a better life for the world’s poorest people.

The fact is none of the well-meaning anti-poverty initiatives to date have achieved much –there are 2.7 billion people today living on $2 a day or less, more than the entire population of the world in 1950. Paul Polak and Mal Warwick argue that the way to help these people is not to view them as victims or as charity cases, but as customers whose needs the market can serve effectively and profitably, without exploitation. In fact, Polak has been doing it for years.

The key is to design products and services explicitly for this market—not cheapened versions of products designed for more affluent markets—an approach called Zero-Based Design. Polak and Warwick spell out, step by step, the guidelines and principles of this approach, and show how it has already been able to supply the very poor with clean drinking water, electricity, irrigation, housing, education, healthcare, and other necessities at a fraction of the usual cost and at profit margins comparable to the more developed world. This approach can be scaled up to reach a virtually untouched market of millions or even billions—this is an extraordinary opportunity for nimble entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives that will result in tremendous good for the world’s poorest people.


Publisher: San Francisco :, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Description: xiii, 245 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781609940775
1609940776
Branch Call Number: 339.46 Pol
Additional Contributors: Warwick, Mal

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at BPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top