APPROACH AND METHODOLOGY
The goal of the 'Base of the Pyramid Hub' is to transform poverty into a business. The BoP HUB will work with corporations who want to enter markets in the developing world. The overall strategy is to scale up successful BoP models through cross-sectoral collaboration, especially corporate partnerships. BoP Hub will bundle and weave products with distribution, logistics, economies of scale, public policy, design and technology, and complete the supply chain to create a brand new way of delivering basic goods and services faster, cheaper, and better to improve quality of life at the BOP.
BoP Hub is a bridge between successful social business models and corporations. To facilitate this learning curve, BoP Hub will introduce large multi-national corporations (MNCs) to the BoP marketplace by conducting trade missions for corporations to learn first-hand how the BoP markets work, its potential demand, aspirational buying triggers, and price points. To reduce the risk for corporations, they can first come in as CSV or CSR support and eventually, after learning how the BOP works, begin investments in small to medium scale. Through such efforts, corporations will gain consumer insights and build local infrastructure, thus lowering the hurdles to serving BoP segments and seeing them as potential customers.
The grand economies of scale will help achieve price affordability and deliver quality of life to the poor. This will create jobs both in the top of the pyramid as well as train BoP communities to become local distributors, sales people, local production workers, and jobs for the whole supply chain from North to South in a sustainable growth path.
The ultimate outcome is larger than BoP Hub. BoP Hub will find sustainable solutions to basic necessities, working with technology and infrastructure to enhance these solutions for the two-thirds of the world whose consumption has yet to be 'designed.' The success of ecologically-conscious 'non-throw-away' products designed for low-income populations will ultimately influence and reinforce sustainable lifestyles at the top of the pyramid.
BoP Hub will be set up as a not-for-profit organization with a collaborative leverage model that will motivate all the stakeholders through an alignment of everyone's interests.
IMPLEMENTATION, TIMELINE, AND DELIVERABLES
Idea incubation for the BoP HUB began in December 2010. Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, obtained a co-funding grant of $600,000 from Singapore's Economic Development Board and began working with partners from Berkeley's Haas School of Business to develop the organizational plan. Other developmental partners include the World Economic Forum's Schwab Foundation's BoP Taskforce, Ashoka's Full Economic Citizenship, and Hystra Hybrid Value Chain Consultants. BoP HUB partners are building market intelligence on social enterprise scaling needs and corporate prerequisites for partnerships. They are also looking for partners who will serve as gateway organizations for business to enter the new market.
November 2011 will see the official launch of the BoP HUB in Singapore at the World Entrepreneurship Forum, where one of The Forum's key pillars is entrepreneurship for poverty alleviation. The first sector that BoP Hub will scale is the sanitation sector. This will be done by replicating the SaniShop program of the World Toilet Organization from Cambodia to other countries, such as India, Vietnam, and Nigeria. In the next two years, BoP HUB will further scale new sectors in off-grid energy and clean water and enter more markets such as the Philippines and Indonesia.
BoP Hub will get MOUs signed with social entrepreneurs who seek to scale. BoP HUB is currently deepening relationships with multiple solar lamp and solar home systems social enterprises (e.g. Kamworks, Sunlabob, Fenix, etc), and building out a network of household water filtration and disinfectant solutions (UC Berkeley solution, PATH, Yayasan Dian Desa, etc). BoP HUB's goals is to have 3 to 5 MOUs signed by the middle of 2012.
BoP HUB has been in conversation with several rural distribution networks, e.g. Hapinoy, Boond, Drishtee, etc. and will continue to build out wider networks. BoP Hub will introduce new development products to these existing networks. Besides social entrepreneurs seeking to introduce their products into new countries, corporations that have BoP products, e.g. Tata, Godrej, Unilever, etc. will also be interested in BoP HUB's variety of distribution networks.
In 2012, BoP HUB will start the replication of proven BoP solar solutions by approaching multinationals that would have an interest in such initiatives, either purely for CSR or as a market development initiative for their own products down the road. Where opportunities allow, BoP HUB will create cross-sector bundling projects, such as sanitation with biogas, or solar with education initiatives.
A BoP World Convention is currently planned for 2013. BoP Hub will organize the world's leading event on 'Bottom of the Pyramid,' bringing together leaders of social innovation in academia, business, and development to share, innovate, and create new large-scale market-driven BOP business models and solutions. The objectives of the convention are to engage and educate global leaders about the business and social potential of BOP, connect investors with entrepreneurs and business in order to stimulate new project creation, stimulate large scale cross innovation and action, and accelerate the sharing of knowledge, ideas, and results in order to take BOP to mainstream scale.
The overall goal of the BoP HUB is to create the World's First Holistic Approach towards the BoP.
Looking for partners to support BoP HUB with Financial Resources, Public Relationship Consultancy for Strategic Communication, and would like to meet all parties interested in growing the BoP Marketplace. This includes Multi-Nationals Companies, Foundations, Educational Institutions, BoP Platforms, and Technology Pioneers.
In addition to seeking new partners with whom to engage and enhance its impact at the BoP, BoP Hub is seeking partners for financial assistance. BoP Hub will use this assistance to finance internal capacity building in order to better advance its vision. BoP Hub also seeks partners to fund, invest in, and collaborate on its projects and research initiatives.
Because BoP Hub is looking to create market-based solutions for the BoP, some of its most important allies are social enterprises. With this in mind, BoP Hub seeks innovative ideas, designers, technicians, distribution channels, and social enterprises that are attempting to scale or expand, and which share the common goal of supporting the BoP.
BoP Hub further seeks partners and sponsors for the World Trade Convention in Singapore, in 2013, which will serve as its flagship event. With this event, BoP Hub aims to become a global platform for potential partners to exhibit, engage different stakeholders of the BoP market, learn, and share their knowledge.