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What is a BoP Lab?

Any independent and registered entity whose activities are aligned to the BoP Global Network mission, is eligible to apply to become a member of the BoP Global Network and be designated a BoP Lab.

The first BoP Lab was established at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School in the US in 2000. It grew out of the research and writings of Dr. Stuart Hart in the late 1990s. His pivotal article, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,” co-authored with C.K. Prahalad, provided the intellectual foundation for a business agenda that focused on improving the lives of the approximately 4 billion people in the world who lived on less than $4 US per day back then.

It soon grew to a consortium of companies, NGOs, entrepreneurs, multilateral organizations, and academics working to discover and implement business solutions to global poverty. Today, the Labs represent a vibrant community of academics and practitioners in more than 30 countries. Collectively, today the BoP Global Labs speak more than 16 languages, with initiatives in more than 34 countries, across 27 sectors.

With a focus on concept, research and practice of the emerging field of BoP enterprise development, the Labs focus on three primary purposes:

  • Generate specific action research.
  • Disseminate knowledge through workshops, seminars, conferences, case studies, publications and the media.
  • Identify, design, incubate and promote innovative business models with companies and other stakeholders that will improve the social and economic lifestyles of BoP communities.

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