How can social entrepreneurs scale businesses at the Base of the Pyramid?
Living Goods operates Avon-like networks of door-to-door Health Promoters who make a modest income selling essential health products at prices affordable to the poor. The model combines the latest and best practices from the fields of micro finance and public health to create a truly sustainable system for improving access to basic health products and defeating the diseases of poverty. http://www.livinggoods.org/
Vision Spring uses a business in a box model. http://www.visionspring.org/what…
BRAC is a development organisation dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives. http://www.brac.net/
Vodaphone. They use a micro-franchise model in at least some of the countries where they market. http://www.vodafone.com/
Innovations and organizations which build transparency. For instance, the
A couple models used to scale in the BOP:
Micro-lending self-help groups (SHGs)
Business in a box (Avon model)
Rental model (sharing model, for instance with energy and mobile–this allows their prices viable)
Great awareness & marketing (IDE uses movies for marketing)
Great training/Train the trainer
Leveraging Fortune 500 (Root Capital who does sustainable sourcing)
Mobile as a communication device (as in the mobile health care example)
Collaboration with organizations with lots of customers (and often space)
Seven other qualities of products which scale in the BOP
They deliver great value for customers. Great product/market fit.
Feedback mechanisms. They know their market inside & out.
They understand the budget choices & how they make budget choices (ie for extreme affordability)
They understand how to communicate (both symbolically and culturally)
They are principled on BOP 2.0 principles.
Resilience and flexibility
Strengths alignment of the organization & the entrepreneurs (ie. Hedgehog principle)
I would further guess they have a real grasp on cost per acquisition (CPA) and lifetime value of customer and other key data which drives their organization.
Resources Worth Checking Out on Scaling Social Impact in the BOP:
Micro-franchsing E-book, which is incredibly impressive: http://www.scribd.com/doc/376286…
Micro-franchising resources: http://iumap.org/mainsite/about-…