New Introduction: Private Sector and Poverty: Progress During 2004-2009

Five years is not a long time to evaluate the diffusion of an idea; much less its impact on the ground. It has been less than five years since the book The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits was published. The first article on the subject appeared in 2002.1 At the time, the proposition that the private sector had a critical role to play in alleviating global poverty was generally met with skepticism. The idea that they could have the greatest impact through creating profitable businesses serving the 5 billion people who represented the “invisible, unserved market” was even more radical. I am profoundly grateful for the people in government, ...

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