Fighting poverty in developing countries is one of the most challenging issues of our times. Today, companies increasingly become aware of their corporate social responsibility, but additionally discover vast growth opportunities at the base/bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP). BoP strategies aim to merge sustainable development, poverty alleviation, and profitable growth. However, doing business with the poor requires market development and creation of innovative solutions to a wide array of wicked social problems. This raises tremendous challenges and demands knowledge and resource beyond the scope of a single corporation. Thus, companies increasingly seek alliances with partners from of the public, private, and civil sector. Cross-Sector Partnerships (CSPs) are a novel tool of international management to develop sustainable business.
Our research addresses key aspects of BoP strategies, such as:
Our research provides first empirical insights about a new phenomenon in Multinational Corporations (MNCs). BoP venture managers face enormous hurdles and intense external as well as internal pressure while developing and implementing BoP-strategies. However, they often show a truly entrepreneurial spirit.
Our research shows that companies heavily depend on “unconventional partners” to develop and implement BoP strategies. Nevertheless, collaboration can quickly become a counterproductive power-play between actors.