The promise of serving the world’s poorest 4 billion people has captured the imagination of many entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations. But so far, the results are elusive. There are a few examples of commercial viability: the global uptake of mobile phones, single-serve packages of shampoo, toothpaste and soap, low-cost eyeglasses, solar lights, and clean cookstoves. Yet there are plenty of failures that illustrate the difficulty. What lessons have we learned?
This session will take a critical look at the promise and challenges of developing market-based solutions that positively impact some of the poorest and most underserved populations globally. We will explore both failures and successes to unpack challenges, insights, and strategies used to create market-based solutions and sustainable impact . What mistakes have been made? What strategies have been successful? What role has technology played in success or failure? What tradeoffs can, or should, be made to avoid commercial failure while remaining true to your social purpose?