Drawing on cases from electricity distribution and other infrastructure industries, and from experiences spanning Asia, Africa and Latin America, this book examines new business models to bring basic utility services to the four billion people comprising the base of the socio-economic pyramid.
Throughout the world, people continue to suffer severe electricity shortages and lack potable water. Contributors to this work, who include academics and practitioners from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, the AES Corporation and several academic institutions, show that access to utilities is key for achieving economic growth and improving the lives of citizens worldwide. They offer analyses of business models in utilities serving the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) through market mechanisms and showcase innovations in organizational processes and services in order to effectively reach the BOP. The book also discusses the key factors in developing profitable business ventures that can engage the world’s four billion poor.
The book is aimed at both academics with an interest in applied research in business and the role of markets in servicing the poor worldwide, practitioners, public sector organizations and NGOs engaged in supplying, financing, and managing microcredit and market initiatives with low-income sectors, and international utility companies and other firms seeking to expand in emerging markets. In addition, the book will be useful as a text in a variety of courses and will give readers a deeper understanding of the potential for business to alleviate poverty, as well as inspire a deeper involvement in social issues as a career alternative or voluntary activity.