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Teaching Note

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The Base-of-the-Pyramid (BoP) refers to the billions of people who live on less than $3,000 per year in the informal economy of the developing world. This poverty creates an urgent societal need and presents a vast potential opportunity for business growth. Intelligent, informed management can address both aspects successfully.This module delivers effective teaching of management strategies for creating sustainable and scalable business ventures that also alleviate poverty. This module, and the associated materials, have been used successfully in a University of Michigan MBA course since 2005. This module formed the basis for the materials that the 4th annual Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula. Instructors can utilize from one to six class sessions to cover the material in various depths. The context can easily adapt to meet the needs of business and non-business students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Identify the prospects and challenges associated with serving BoP markets
  • Apply critical tools and frameworks that enhance success throughout the venture development process
  • Apply the core principles in mutual value creation in BoP markets
  • Co-create BoP business ventures with the poor and their partners