Social Enterprise Models: Creating the Fortune at the Base of the Pyramid

Shyam J. Kamath, Yung-Jae Lee, Tina Xiaotian Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops on the legacy of C.K. Prahalad's seminal work on the base of the pyramid (BoP) by focusing on the aspect of income generation at the BoP. After reviewing the literature on creating sustainable livelihoods and employment at the BoP, we develop a set of archetypal social enterprise models that underlie the creation of business ecosystems and successful businesses at the BoP. Also provided are examples of sustainable models in microfinance, value chains, health and education provision, goods and services and infrastructure development. This flows from the health, opportunity, peace, education, infrastructure, and microfinance (HOPEIM) focus of integrated ecosystem development work conducted by us with BoP livelihood creation projects in India, Philippines, Rwanda, Thailand and Uganda. The paper offers several major findings in terms of how successful BoP ecosystem development can be initiated and sustained.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Business
  • Economics

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