Developing BoP Partnerships

By Nicolas Chevrollier, The BoP Innovation Center (BoP Inc.)

Developing BoP Partnerships

At the BoP Innovation Center (BoPInc), we just finished a new publication on BoP partnerships. It is the third publication of a series of five. The series is based on experiences and insights from the implementation of three seperate innovation pilots. These pilots form the Three Pilots for Pro-Poor Innovation (3P4PPI) program. Together with our partners, we capture learnings from the pilots, to improve the quality and enabling environment for future pilots.

Here are 7 reasons why it is worth partnering with different types of organizations, like NGOs, government institutes or knowledge centers. They can help you:
  1. Better understand the needs and, more importantly, demands at the BoP in a new market.
  2. Provide a right to operate, by partnering with long-established organizations working for and with low-income groups.
  3. Overcome gaps in the local business ecosystem, such as distribution networks.
  4. Strengthen innovation capacity by teaming up with partners that have the flexibility to moderate suitable processes.
  5. Bring to the table missing competences needed to develop and implement BoP ventures.
  6. Guarantee additional internal resources needed in order to cope with challenges of the often long and unpredictable process of developing and implementing a venture.
  7. Allow the scaling of impact of BoP ventures by nurturing and growing BoP entrepreneurs.

A lot has been written on the importance of building strong partnerships that target and include low-income groups. However, there seems to be a lack of experience-based insights that reflect on existing BoP partnerships. This publication is not exhaustive on the topic in any way, so we included two pages full of interesting sources and links to deepen your understanding on the theme. It can help your organization find the right partners and bring inclusive innovations that improve the livelihood at the BoP to scale.

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