Muhammad Yumus, founder of Grameen Bank, a microfinance business that first operated in rural Bangladesh, and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize; Frederic Dalsace, an associate professor of marketing and holds the Social Business, Enterprise and Poverty chair at HEC Paris; David Menasce, the managing director of Azao, a consulting company specializing in social business, and an affiliate professor at HEC Paris; and Benedicte Faivre-Tavignot, an affiliate professor at HEC Paris and the academic director of its master’s program in sustainable development, write about five leading companies that have adapted nonprofit business models to serve the bottom of the pyramid in France.
This article was first published in the March 2015 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Poverty is not just an emerging-market problem. In the United States more than 45 million people, or 15% of the population, are officially poor, according to the Census Bureau. What’s more, this percentage has increased every year but one (2006) since the 21st century began. At 16%, Japan is doing no better. And in the European Union almost 120 million people—one in every four—are classified as at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
Very informative and has given me an idea on how to help in my local community.