The case describes the decision dilemma faced by an entrepreneur, Jack Sim, whose social initiative aims to establish an innovative platform in Singapore and South Asia to serve the base of the pyramid (BoP), which represents a majority of the population of the world (about 60%) who live in poverty. The primary objectives of Sim’s initiative, BoP Hub, are to provide professional services to social entrepreneurs catering to the BoP market, and help them develop and scale their businesses. Social entrepreneurs who want to address the needs of this segment of the population face a plethora of challenges: most notably, the lack of affordability in the BoP, inadequate access to basic facilities, and the dearth of channels of access to the BoP market. However, in addition to the social objectives, the BoP also has economic incentives, as the potential volume in this segment is huge, and it has aspirations to move into the middle class.
The challenges faced by Sim in creating a platform to catalyse innovative products and services for the BoP include lack of access to traditional fundraising methods, the need of a common organisational strategy for entrepreneurs serving the BoP leading to multiple services being required by them, and the requirement of a well-understood model for scaling their businesses.
Through this case, the participants will have an opportunity to learn the concept of organisational strategy in a non-profit organisation and the unique aspects of innovation in a non-profit organisation and the considerations that a non-profit organisation should keep in mind when trying to scale up a project operationally. This case would also be useful in understanding the adoption of best practices in social organisations catering for the BoP sector.
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· The Case (SMU-17-0006)
· Teaching Note (SMU-17-0006TN)
Public Sector and Non-Profit,
Executive, Postgraduate, Undergraduate,