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Social Entrepreneurs Tackle Malnutrition

Rishi Malhotra June 21, 2010

BOP Malnutrition
Over half of the budget used by people in the BOP is allocated towards food, creating a total $2.89 trillion market. And yet malnutrition kills 3.5 million people per year.
Because more and more people are moving to cities and not growing their own crops, there is even more potential for business to sell nutritious, packaged food inside of stores. The private sector role will increase and it is essential to improving health outcomes that the food be both nutritious and marketed well enough so then people will want to buy it.
Social entrepreneurs are starting to take this problem head on. Recently Ashoka and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) co-sponsored a competition to find out solutions to the problem of malnutrition. Out of 253 entries, 5 were selected to present at the annual Business Alliance Global Forum in Dubai. Among those presenting were IDEO, which will be at SOCAP10, Accenture Development Partnerships, the World Bank, and the Monitor Group’s Inclusive Markets Practice.
IDEO spoke about the importance of design, packaging, and branding on how people buy food in the BOP. The participants built prototypes of how nutritious products would be made, marketed, and distributed to people in the BOP.
The World Bank discussed how to measure impact on the BOP and the complications involved in this. At the Business Models for the Base of the Pyramid, presented by the Monitor Group’s Inclusive Markets Practice, the main conclusion was that there is no one way to do it and often only small changes are necessary in current business models to reach the BOP. The most important thing is to make sure that the business model is based on a thorough understanding of the customers. Accenture Development Partnerships discussed in Partnerships and Collaborations how different partnerships can be made that will decrease malnutrition in the future.
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Image credit: Business Alliance Global Forum in Dubai

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