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Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Prahalad)

Brueckner, M. (2013) Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Prahalad). In: Idowu, S.O., Capaldi, N., Zu, L. and Das Gupta, A., (eds.) Encyclopedia of Corporate Social Responsibility. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany, pp. 1149-1154.

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The base (bottom) of the pyramid (BoP) concept was popularized by Prahalad (2004) as well as other writers, such as Hart (2005) and London (2007). BoP reframes the world’s poor living on less than US$ 1.25 per day as “resilient and creative entrepreneurs” as well as “value-conscious consumers” (Prahalad 2004: 1), who together with multinational corporations can co-create economic opportunity. The concept is based on the notion that global enterprises through strategic partnering with people at the base of the world’s income pyramid can help achieve sustainable win-win outcomes that are profitable as well as help solve social and environmental problems in low-income countries. The collective buying power of the over three billion people living in poverty worldwide is assumed to provide a commercial incentive for business corporations to target this vast market with innovative, low-cost consumer goods and services, which traditionally has been overlooked due to the limited purchasing power of its customer base. Despite the promise of enabling the market participation of the world’s poorest and thus solving poverty-related problems, the BoP concept is also being criticized for being potentially exploitative in nature and overly optimistic about the market opportunities to be found in low-income countries.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School Of Business and Governance
Publisher: Springer
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