Ethical Performance
inside intelligence for responsible business


Coalitions ‘are way forward’ for pro-poor ideas

March 2009

Companies trying to implement ‘bottom of the pyramid’ schemes should pool their efforts, not work in isolation, the Ashridge business school has said.

An Ashridge report says such efforts – aimed at alleviating poverty by developing goods and services affordable for people with low incomes – will achieve more if companies operate in coalitions.

It argues that co-ordinated efforts can allow business to tackle several problems simultaneously rather than achieving progress in just one area. And it warns: ‘To correct one serious problem in a poor community while leaving other equally life-threatening problems untouched is to develop a synergy of failure.’

The study, based on interviews with companies, non-governmental organizations and charities that are active in bottom of the pyramid programmes, says governments can play a valuable role in bringing together various businesses with ‘different core competencies’. This will create coalitions that can deal with various aspects of poverty simultaneously.

Ashridge | Global | Pro-poor Initiatives

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