Base of the Pyramid

ImpactAlpha’s Base of the Pyramid speaks to the issues of underserved markets and the low-income strata that are often the target markets that impact investors want to reach. Those living at the base have limited access to income generating opportunities, goods or services. The benefits of impact investments to the base of the pyramid can be great — leading to catalytic change, or sometimes no results at all. The analysis cannot be ignored.

We ask questions regarding the base of the pyramid — who are the beneficiaries — and what happens when investors focus on this group? Feel-good stories of investing successes are controversial, in part, because it can be nearly impossible to gauge the efficacy of these ventures. ImpactAlpha takes a closer look at the businesses, nonprofits and others who seek to influence the base of the pyramid.

Uh-Oh: Microcredit Does Not Relieve Poverty

Microcredit is not living up to its promise to relieve poverty, concludes new research published in January’s American Economic Journal. Studies of microcredit programs in six countries “do not find clear evidence, or even much in the way of...

Living Goods: Selling Health Door-to-Door

Living Goods is a global health strategy wrapped in a retail distribution business wrapped in a nonprofit company. In Uganda and, since last year, in Kenya, more than 1,000 Living Goods “community health promoters” in bright blue T-shirts make...


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