Doing Business with the Poor: 5 Types of Business Models to Consider

Illustration: A rural micro-entrepreneur
  • Affordable — entrepreneurs usually understand the importance of affordability, although there is a lot of tendency to put too much emphasis on this factor while neglecting others
  • Simple
  • Low-risk
  • Offering immediate and steady benefits
  • Responding to clear demand from the community
  • Enterprises selling products requiring a lot of customer education and/or cost-benefit analysis. Examples: savings and insurance products, no matter how simplified, is a hard sell
  • Enterprises selling products that will give benefits only in the long term. Examples: primary or general secondary education, preventive healthcare, sanitation, business management training
  • Enterprises selling risky products. Examples: sales of most new agriculture equipment like drip irrigation

1. “Liquidity” Model

2. “Necessities” Model

Pricing of necessities products by Unilever India. From the book of CK Prahalad

3. “Aspirational” Model

Example page from Mapan’s product brochure

4. “Livelihood” Model

5. “Productivity” Model

Caveats …

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Adi Sudewa

Adi Sudewa

Venture Builder. In Medium to share perspectives on how industries are being transformed by digital technologies.

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