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Review: World Resources Institute Report: The Next Four Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy At the Base of the Pyramid

The World Resources Institute’s new(ish) report: The Next Four Billion, draws on household income and consumption surveys of the Base of the Pyramid (see a series of posts on this topic) from over a hundred countries.

Rather than provide case study success story descriptions and results, this report provides an assessment (including easy to read graphs and charts) of various Base of the Pyramid markets. Analysis includes:

  • A fairly detailed portrait of the BoP including characteristics besides poverty:
    • Significant unmet needs; and
    • Dependence on informal/subsistence livelihoods
  • Country and regional overviews of the size and income of the BoP market;
  • Total market size, including ability to pay; and
  • A review of the “penalty” faced by BOP consumers in the form of higher prices, poorer quality goods and services, or lack of access to services.

Industry sectors specifically covered (with targeted strategies) in this report include:

  1. Health
  2. Information and Communications
  3. Water
  4. Transportation
  5. Housing
  6. Energy
  7. Food
  8. Financial Services

The report also includes a series of powerpoint presentations based on these above-mentioned industry sectors.

There is a considerable amount of data included in this report, and users will find this to be a good starting point for research into specific geographies and their suitability for business entry.

Photo Credit: Ahmed Rabea via Flickr’s Creative Commons

Written by Amiel Blajchman

Amiel is the founder of the Globalis Group, an organization whose motto is "combining action and thought for a sustainable world." His experience includes working with the Canadian government on greenspace projects, sustainable development programs and on policy documents on issues as diverse as climate change, sustainable development, and the environmental and social impacts of transportation. He is listed on the UN’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory’s list of GHG experts, and has sat on the Canadian Environmental Certifications Board’s Greenhouse Gas Verification and Validation Certification committee.


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