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Innovating a Business Icon

In less than a week we hit the ground in Kenya, to begin the pilot test for the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Protocol, a multinational, NGO, and university sponsored effort to find innovation and business opportunities among the world’s poor.  Sure, we’ll spend time at corporate offices, with NGOs and government officials, but most of the time we’ll be visiting and living with people who don’t have easy access to running water or electricity, probably not phones or computers either.  So, being an MBA, I fixated right away on the most important question.

Should we bring business cards?

Kenya bound - Piloting the BoP Protocol

The BoP Protocol
Regular BRINQ readers may have noticed a lack of posting the last couple of weeks, this is because we've been working overtime getting ready for the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) Protocol pilot in Kenya, where we'll be hitting the ground in just two weeks. For a quick summary of the Protocol, it answers the following question:

Innovation, Ignorance, and Coming off the Mountain

"I could use a hundred people who don't know there is such a word as impossible"
- Henry Ford, Sr.

We admit having a bit of a fascination with Henry Ford, a man, who in our minds, was one of the world's greatest social entrepreneurs and enablers of the common man, who also happened to become insanely wealthy to boot. How could you not be fascinated with him? When people tell us we're nuts trying to make money working with today's version of the comman man, the 4+ billion "poor" living in the Base of the Pyramid, we point at Henry Ford and say, "He was nuts too,"and then a moment later add, "and I'm with stupid."

However, it was Ford's notorious dislike for "experts" that we find the most compelling:

Unleashing Competitive Imagination- the Base of the Pyramid Protocol

The BoP Protocol

How can the multinational company become the driver of an inclusive capitalism?

That's the critical question the Base of the Pyramid Protocol seeks to answer. Developed by Stuart Hart and the Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab, the BOP Protocol Project is a collaborative effort to develop guidelines and business models for successful Base of the Pyramid ventures, enabling them to meet the needs of the world's 4 billion poorest people while discovering huge new growth and innovation opportunities.

The Vision: to create inclusive, mutually beneficial business processes through which the private sector and local communities build economic, social and environmental value.

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