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Speakers Corner #39: Missing Links of Business Development in Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Communities

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Microlinks hosted this Speakers Corner discussion on August 17-19 on Missing Links of Business Development in BoP Communities.  This discussion was sponsored by the USAID Microenterprise Development office and facilitated by the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University.

Forum

Welcome
Day 1 August 17, 2010 Entrepreneurship
Day 2 August 18, 2010 B2B Opportunities
Day 3 August 19, 2010 The Role of Youth in the BoP

We invite participants to join us each day to share their ideas and knowledge in the discussion forum. Topics for each day are:

  • Day 1: Entrepreneurship
    On the first day, participants will discuss the role of entrepreneurship in enterprise development in low-income communities. Although it is often said that those living in poverty need to be entrepreneurial in order to survive the grueling day-to-day realities of life, in reality many would prefer to have the stability of permanent employment.  What are the skills of a true entrepreneur?  How do you identify and engage them?  Is entrepreneurship the best solution to poverty alleviation at the BoP?  What are the options beyond entrepreneurship to promote poverty alleviation at the BoP?  What are the noteworthy examples of innovations in promoting entrepreneurship at the BoP?

    Facilitators: Monica Touesnard ;Dr. Mark Milstein, Anne Park, Mike Pezone, Srinivas Venugopal
     
  • Day 2: B2B Opportunities
    Most discussions and research on BoP enterprise development focus heavily on the role of business-to-consumer companies.  Our discussion on the second day will focus on the role business-to-business (B2B) companies can play in BoP markets.  How can existing B2B companies reach these markets?  How can BoP entrepreneurs create these types of businesses in their own communities?  What are some of the best examples of successful B2B companies working in the BoP?

    Facilitators: Patrick Donohue, Kristin O'Planick, Shashank Verma
  • Day 3: The Role of Youth in the BoP
    On the last day, the discussion will focus on the role youth can play in business development.  In many low-income communities youth are underemployed and disengaged from community development.  What are the best ways to engage them?  What value can they add to enterprise development?   How do you motivate them?   What are the advantages and disadvantages to engaging youth in business development?  What are the noteworthy examples of innovations in engaging youth in entrepreneurship at the BoP?

    Facilitators: Meredith Gethin-Jones, Dr. Stephen F. Hamilton, Hugh Yarbrough, Tatiana Theme, Dr. Theresa Williamson
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