Where donors and impact investors meet: Public and private sector roles in strengthening inclusive business ecosystems in base of pyramid markets

Max Parknäs

Studenteropgave: Speciale


The private sector is increasingly considered to play an important role in international development as both financiers of the post 2015-development agenda and as innovators of new products and services that can help eradicate poverty and contribute to human development. The past four decades has seen how the private sectors engagement in the developing world evolved from “command and control” approaches of uncontrolled profit maximization to minimizing environmental and social impact through corporate social responsibility, towards the last decades pro-active application of business strategies to pursue social goals. Following the “base of pyramid” line of though introduced by C.K. Prahalad in 1999, these inclusive business set out to deliver both commercial and developmental results. However, creating new markets in developing nations is difficult, and riddled with institutional voids and barriers that prevent these businesses to progress all the way from blueprint to scale, and thus limits their development potential. This study is based on an understanding of the need for new partnerships between the private and public sector in order to facilitate an enabling ecosystem promoting inclusive business development. It seeks to identify critical gaps in the contemporary ecosystem of inclusive business development and analyze what role donor facilitated public-private partnership modalities play in addressing those. Sida's recently finished “Innovation Against Poverty” challenge fund will serve as a in-depth descriptive case study that offers a context for a critical review of current donor responses to facilitate the inclusive business while secondary materials will be used to form an analytical framework to analyze private and public sector engagement with base of the pyramid concepts. From the theoretical perspectives of base of the pyramid and inclusive business models, this study contributes to the understanding of what role the private and the public sector plays in strengthening enabling ecosystems for inclusive businesses operating in base of pyramid markets. It describes the operationalization of the base of pyramid and inclusive business concepts and emphasizes that increased collaboration between donors and impact investors are critical in order to address challenges on firm-, micro-and macro-level, linked to inclusive business development in base of pyramid markets.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat
Udgivelsesdato4 mar. 2016
VejledereCasse Thorkil


  • international development
  • impact investments
  • base of pyramid, social innovation, development studies,
  • inclusive business