Effectiveness of Impact-Investing at the Base of the Pyramid: An Empirical Study from India

  • Anirudh Agrawal


The availability of essential public goods like subsidized education, health care, vocation training, sustainable development and inexpensive microfinance, which are reliable and affordable, is one of the critical challenges stalling the progress of the developing economies. These challenges are further aggravated at the base of the pyramid (BoP). Realizing these critical issues, the impact investment has emerged as a new asset class, which has bundled entrepreneurial passion with available scarce resources to design and implement cost-effective, reliable and scalable market solutions for the BoP creating essential public goods. The empirical context involves the use of case studies of impact-investing firms, which have made a socio-economic difference in the lives of the rural and semi-urban population lying at the BoP in India through impact investments in social enterprises. The analysis and findings reflect the key operating principles of favourable impact-investing in the business ventures at the BoP. These include a focus on the affordability of services, innovation and cost control, local engagement and stakeholder management, local skills and capability building, dynamic leadership and scalability.


Base of the pyramid UN MDGs Low-income markets Emerging markets Impact investment Developing countries Sustainable development 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anirudh Agrawal
    • 1
  1. 1.Copenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark

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