Worldwide, the number of people living in base of the pyramid (BoP) communities continues to increase despite technological advances. The BoP, also known as the bottom of the pyramid, refers to the 2.5 billion individuals who live in developing countries and make less than $2.50 a day. This term is often used by people who develop new technological models of business that target this demographic. Unfortunately, most of these developments result in little or no success.
Next month, the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) is giving businesses an opportunity to discuss how they could solve problems based on BoP. The USAID Microenterprise Development Office is hosting an online microLinks conference from August 17-19 2010. The Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University will facilitate the discussion.
Part of its “Speakers Corner” series, the conference will emphasize three areas often disregarded in discussions about business development: Business-to-Business (B2B) opportunities, entrepreneurship and youth.
On the last day of the event, August 19, participants will discuss how young people can play a role in business development. This is essential because youth from low-income communities are more likely to be underemployed and disengaged from community development. The questions that participants hope to answer are:
- What are the best ways to engage them?
- What value can they add to enterprise development?
- How do you motivate them?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages to engaging youth in business development?
- What are the noteworthy examples of innovations in engaging youth in entrepreneurship at the BoP?
The conference addresses important questions and strategies around supporting young people in social innovation and engaging them in their communities. For more information about the conference, including how to become a member of USAID’s microLinks community, please read the official event announcement.