What is “zero-based design?”

In writing The Business Solution to Poverty, co-authors Paul Polak and Mal Warwick compiled the techniques that had worked so well in building profitable new ventures serving the bottom of the pyramid throughout the Global South. They called it “zero-based design,” …

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“Why didn’t I think of this?”

When Cynthia Koenig, an innovative young social entrepreneur from New York, learned that millions of girls and women around the world spend hours each day collecting water from distant sources, she decided to create a new way to help people …

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Achieving scale in economic development

Paul Polak and Mal Warwick’s award-winning book, The Business Solution to Poverty, highlights 20 “takeaways” that encapsulate much of the book’s essence. Today we feature the fourth of those takeaways. Future posts will include others.  Although a handful of development initiatives have …

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The business case for ending poverty

By Mal Warwick You may feel, as I do, that poverty is humankind’s greatest shame. But there are numerous practical considerations, too: the horrendous waste of human talent; the prospect that the end of wide-scale poverty might lower the level …

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Mobile money at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Since M-PESA was introduced in Kenya seven years ago, blogs and conference sessions have devoted more and more space to the potential of mobile money as an enabling technology for development. Suddenly, making banking services available to the unbanked no longer …

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