UNDP – Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor

Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor is the new and groundbreaking report by the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Over a billion people do not have access to drinking water, 1.6 billion do not have access to electricity and 5.4 billion have no access to the Internet. Yet the poor have a largely unexploited potential as consumers, producers, innovators and entrepreneurs.

Creating Value for All showcases 50 examples of local and international companies successfully integrating the poor into their business models to create wealth, spur growth and spark social change. Moreover, the report offers tools for businesses interested in more inclusive markets.

  • Full-report
  • Executive Summary
  • Case Summary 6 – India: Sulabh International, Implementing a low cost, safe sanitation system – Since 1970, Bindheshwar Pathak’s Sulabh International has worked to liberate India’s scavengers by employing low-cost, safe sanitation technology. Over the course of three decades Sulabh has built a commercially viable business model—with a significant development impact. Sulabh has developed 26 toilet designs for varying budgets and locations, training 19,000 masons to build low-cost twin-pit toilets using locally available material. It has also installed more than 1.4 million household toilets, and it maintains more than 6,500 public pay-per-use facilities. Its technology has freed 60,000 people from life as a scavenger, offering programmes to reintegrate them into society.

    Case Summary 9 – Morocco: Lydec, providing electricity, water and sanitation – In 1997, the Moroccan authorities picked LYDEC, a private-sector consortium managed as a subsidiary of SUEZ Environment, to manage Casablanca’s electricity, water and sewage networks under the National Initiative for Human Development. The goal of the 30-year management contract was to provide access to essential services—electricity, water and sanitation—to the residents of Casablanca, including the poor living in shantytowns or illegal settlements. LYDEC has significantly increased the number of people with access to electricity and water services by partnering with the government and working closely with local users through a network of street representatives.

    Case Summary 12 – South Africa: Amanz’ abantu, water for the people – Before the arrival of Amanz’ abantu, villagers—mainly rural women—had to walk up to several hours to obtain water from the nearest river. And they were still vulnerable to waterborne diseases. Bringing a safe water supply within 200 metres of homes transformed the lives of rural residents, equipping villagers with skills in building and construction and making them employable in a country with 25 percent unemployment. The case details the contentious reception for private-sector involvement in water provision and how the company overcame the obstacles to address a social problem and earn a profit—$67,000 in 2006.

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