Subsidies in Base-of-the-Pyramid Venture Development

by: Ted London

Publication Date: January 15, 2009
Length: 8 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-767

Core Disciplines: Base of the Pyramid, International Business, Social Impact, Strategy & Management

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Teaching Note

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Though there is limited literature on the role of subsidies in venture development targeting the poor in the developing world, there are many examples of ventures incorporating subsidies in their business models and working alongside subsidy providers such as governments and foundations. This case highlights three ventures within Acumen Fund’s portfolio of investees and the varying roles of subsidies in supporting them. These ventures are Water Health International, Ziqitza Healthcare Limited, and Sustainable Healthcare Foundation.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Understand the different roles intermediary organizations like Acumen Fund play in facilitating the development of successful BoP ventures.
  • Develop a framework for how funding organizations and governments can best direct their subsidies to support BoP ventures.