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The Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund Opportunities for the Majority Initiative

Inter-American Development Bank 1


A Base of Millions, a Potential Without Limit economy. Their objective is to stimulate economic growth and raise the incomes of some 360 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean who have been overlooked and underserved by the world for far too long.

The majority of Latin America’s population remains outside of the formal economy, living on very low incomes and lacking affordable access to basic goods and services such as transport, financial services, housing, healthcare, and connectivity.

Since 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) has been investing in BOP business models in the Latin American and Caribbean region. By measuring the social outcomes of these investments, OMJ is making it clear that the private sector has a unique and powerful role to play in development. Through its work with a range of companies and sectors, OMJ has used technical assistance grants to support projects in both their pre-commercial stages and their implementation; and to learn from them once they start producing results. In the process, it has found that having access to grant resources has been an invaluable tool for enhancing impact and collecting and disseminating knowledge about BOP business models. In order to increase its capacity to make such grants, OMJ established the Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund in 2009. In less than two years, the Fund has played a vital role in supporting four innovative projects that have the potential not only to reach millions of low-income people living in the region, but also to stimulate the development of countless more projects.

For too long, people living at the base of the socioeconomic pyramid have been unable to improve their welfare and economic status by gaining entry to the formal economy. Traditional development approaches have repeatedly fallen short in trying to address these root problems and in providing solutions on the scale needed to make a lasting impact on poverty. These challenges also present an attractive opportunity for the private sector to enter hitherto untapped markets, develop new products and business models, create jobs, and engage low-income communities in their value chains—as stakeholders, suppliers, clients, and entrepreneurs—driving the creation of opportunities for social inclusion and sustainable economic growth. In recent years, low-income populations, international development institutions and the private sector have begun working together through what are known as base of the pyramid (BOP) business models. These are marketbased solutions that develop and deliver quality products and services, create employment, and enable low-income producers and consumers to participate in the formal

Read on to learn more about the Fund’s work so far…



A Letter from the Manager of the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative The Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund was established because of these two truths. Because BOP models are not business as usual, companies often require a little extra support to do research or pilot a project or develop a training program before they are ready to launch their new projects, or to learn how best to create and capture social impact. Because they are business as usual, companies need to address questions about risk and design and feasibility before they head into the unknown, just as any responsible company would.

There are two things that are true about Base of the Pyramid business models. The first is: they are not business as usual. In order to launch a BOP project, a company must do a lot of market research. It will look long and hard at its product or service offerings, and brainstorm about how they could be changed to better meet the demands of low-income markets. It often needs to find a partner to work with, maybe in a totally different sector. It won’t be able to calculate risk, loss, profit the way it has in the past. It has to rethink everything it’s ever done in marketing and distribution. It has to innovate. It has to be patient, and have faith that all this work and uncertainty will be well worth it in the end.

The fund has been a tremendous tool for the Opportunities for the Majority team, giving us the resources and the flexibility we need to work with the private sector and help companies recognize the power of BOP models. They see the reasoning, and get excited by the novelty. Business as usual… and not.

The second true thing is: BOP business models are business as usual. Reaching new customers, improving their supply chains, and developing their workforces are are part of a company’s core strategy, not corporate philanthropy. Connecting more successfully with low-income markets than the competition does can be a huge advantage. Charitable investment in communities has a long corporate tradition; yet new inclusive business practices are a more effective way of contributing to the socio-economic development of society. And it always comes down to the numbers—and these numbers don’t lie. The base of the pyramid is large, and so is its collective purchasing power. CEOs ignore these facts at their peril.

I would like to express my gratitude to the Development Bank of Austria, Österreichische Entwicklungsbank AG, for becoming the Fund’s first donor. Their vision and generosity have greatly enhanced our work, and I am proud to have them as a partner. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the fund’s work in the 18 months since it was first conceived. I’m very proud of what we have achieved, and I am already looking forward to the future. Luiz Ros



Market Solutions for Social Change

capital investments and give the OMJ team the flexibility it needs to fund activities that are outside the initiative’s primary activity of investing in projects, but are nonetheless crucial to its overall goal of promoting BOP business models throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region, and helping projects grow to scale.

In 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank, under the direction of IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno, established the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative (OMJ) for the purpose of investing in business projects that engage with low-income populations in Latin America and the Caribbean. In doing so, the IDB became the first development finance institution to dedicate such significant staff and resources to the emerging field of “base of the pyramid” (BOP) business models and their use as a tool for development. As of fall 2011, the initiative has built up a portfolio of 26 projects, representing almost US$163 million invested in innovative, market-based projects with the potential to reach millions of underserved people across the region. In the course of building its portfolio, the OMJ Initiative has learned a great deal about the effort required to prepare to launch a company’s initial venture into the BOP sphere, and then to bring a project to scale. It has also sought to fulfill its role as a business incubator and as a disseminator of hard-won knowledge about BOP business models, by holding events for companies, impact investors, fellow international development organizations, and others with important roles to play; and by creating other innovative channels through which to share information. In 2009, OMJ established its first strategic thematic fund, Market Solutions for Social Change. This multidonor trust fund was created to supplement the IDB’s


• VisionSpring: This social enterprise is dedicated to providing affordable eyeglasses to low-income people throughout the developing world. With support from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, it is expanding its line of products, redesigning its distribution models and preparing for regionwide growth. • The Corporate Leaders Program for Success in Majority Markets: This multistage program included the development of a creative platform for teaching the business community about BOP models, the provision of intensive consulting services to five large companies with promising BOP project concepts, and the identification of several potential OMJ clients.

The Fund was designed to receive contributions from a variety of sources: governments, foundations, individuals, corporations, and so on. The first donor was the Österreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB), the official Development Bank of Austria, which pledged €1 million. The Fund is also designed to use its resources efficiently; the OeEB’s contribution was received by the Fund in mid 2010, and by the end of that year was committed to four projects, which will all be largely completed by the end of 2011. The four projects, each of which exemplifies a different aspect of the fund’s invaluable role in maximizing the potential impact of OMJ and its clients, are:


• Patrimonio Hoy: This project, which makes it possible for poor families to receive technical support and buy affordable materials for home construction, was first developed by Mexican cement manufacturer CEMEX over a decade ago. Technical assistance grants awarded from the Fund helped CEMEX strengthen and train its sales force and prepare it to offer new credit products. Now, the company is ready for wide expansion as it enters BOP markets in four additional countries. • The 1st BASE Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean: This conference, held in São Paulo, Brazil in June 2011, was the IDB’s largest event to date focusing on BOP business models, bringing nearly 800 people together to hear about challenges and successes in the field. The Fund sponsored two central features of the Forum: the announcement of a new capacity building program, developed with resources from the Fund, for small and medium Brazilian enterprises serving the BOP; and the release of a ground-breaking new report, produced by Marcelo Neri, a leading Brazilan economist and renowned expert on social policy, and his team of researchers from Getulio Vargas Business School. Their research quantifies the emergence of 43 million Brazilians from poverty into the middle class over the last 10 years.

As OMJ has the unique role within the IDB of engaging with private sector projects at early stages, in many cases even pre-commercial phases, it also has the chance and responsibility to help shape a project from its beginning and apply its knowledge gained from past challenges and successes to make each project even stronger than the last. The Fund, through technical cooperation assistance, underwrites valuable information-gathering efforts, including market and feasibility studies, research into regulatory environments and development of tracking methods and performance evaluation tools. Besides providing resources to carry out these important pre-investment analyses, the Fund serves as a repository for information about best practices in analyzing a proposal’s readiness. It is also helping to close a crucial knowledge gap in the BOP sphere: how best to measure a project’s impact, since many traditional instruments do not yet take into account social impact and other important elements of this work.


VisionSpring: Opening Eyes to the Power of Sight 10

Many social enterprises start with one good idea and someone who is determined to get that idea off the ground. But no matter how good the idea, if it is to have a big impact, it will experience trial and error and will evolve over time. Pilot testing, market analysis, identifying partners, and much more take time and effort—and money, but will increase the probability of success in the end. A grant from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund is supporting VisionSpring through its growing stage.

In the developed world, anyone who starts to have trouble seeing clearly can stop at a drugstore and buy a cheap pair of reading glasses. If the problem is not that simple to fix, a doctor can write a prescription for more advanced lenses. But in developing countries, such options are out of reach for low-income people, due to cost, limited availability of “over-the-counter” glasses and a lack of access to optometrists. Poor vision forces people to reduce their productivity or to retire early, depriving households of income and economies of experienced workers in their prime. While in medical school, American optometrist Dr. Jordan Kassalow participated in eye clinics in Latin America, where he saw firsthand how a pair of glasses could transform someone’s economic prospects. He went on to found a social enterprise called VisionSpring, which produces affordable eyeglasses for BOP consumers.

With support from a US$200,000 technical cooperation grant from the Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund, VisionSpring has scaled up its work in El Salvador, is widening the range of products available to clients there, and is laying groundwork to grow into other Latin American countries. Its sales in El Salvador increased almost threefold between 2009 and 2010, from 2200 to 6100 units. In 2011, it expects to sell 25,000 units. VisionSpring also went from having seven active vision entrepreneurs selling its products in 2009, to 30 by the middle of 2011. It has established sites in the country’s three largest cities, and is making plans to launch two satellite sites in November, 2011.

VisionSpring estimates that $3 billion is lost annually in the global economy due to lost productivity from poor vision, 90% of which is borne by poor nations. VisionSpring started its work in El Salvador in 2003, and since then has expanded into India, Bangladesh and South Africa. Since its launch, it has sold 613,000 pairs of eyeglasses. Today, the organization wishes to expand into still more parts of the world, and is also determined to provide solutions for those who need something more complex than a set of magnifying lenses.


“Losing eyesight is a silent robber of economic productivity. Hundreds of millions of poor people lose their livelihood in their prime working years.”

The market research and pilot testing it has been able to carry out with the support of this grant will potentially revolutionize its product offerings and distribution models. In the past, it had primarily relied on microfranchisers known as Vision Entrepreneurs, working within communities, to test customers’ eyesight and fit them with reading glasses. However, these semi-independent salespeople do not have the training or tools to treat people who require prescription lenses. In El Salvador, VisionSpring has been developing partnerships with ocular shops that allow it to provide a full range of vision products; and to set up a “hub and spoke” distribution system that gives it more penetration into local markets.

– Dr. Jordan Kassalow, Founder, VisionSpring


RESULTS: VISIONSPRING IN EL SALVADOR • Sales of eyeglasses almost tripled between 2009 and 2010 (from 2200 to 6100 units) • Projected 2011 sales: 25,000 units • 3 optical shops opened, each supported by 6 employees and 10 Vision Entrepreneurs • 2 satellite sites to open in western El Salvador in November 2011 • Long-term expansion plan for countrywide presence in 2013 • Recruiter/trainer hired to develop Vision Entrepreneur salesforce • Accountant and accounting software in place to better manage finances and reporting • Conducting market research to expand product offerings • Investigating local and regional sources for lenses, frames, lens finishing and eyedrops • Exploring partnerships with regional health providers and retailers

As VisionSpring reaches more communities, workers will no longer have to retire early because they don’t have eyeglasses, students will be able to read and learn more easily, and communities will be safer, as drivers and pedestrians alike will see clearly. Besides its expansion in El Salvador, supported by the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, VisionSpring has been exploring new distribution partnerships with other IDB clients and contacts. In the near future, it may be ready for largerscale expansion in the Latin American and Caribbean region, which could be an important investment opportunity for the OMJ initiative.

Besides creating jobs through its Vision Entrepreneur corps and helping thousands of customers to keep working, VisionSpring is also investigating using local or regional sources for lens-finishing, eyeglass frames and eyedrops, all of which would lead to more jobs in El Salvador or nearby countries.


The Corporate Leaders Program: Seeking Out Success in Majority Markets 14

Now that a growing number of companies are launching BOP business models, the concept is not completely unknown. Still, for firms that have not yet entered this sector, the way is rarely clear. The “ecosystem” that should be able to provide networking, consulting services, financial support and all kinds of information is still under construction. In this atmosphere, the OMJ initiative resolved to find more effective ways to teach executives how to come up with ideas for BOP projects for their companies, and to identify promising business BOP business concepts that are in need of a little guidance to bring them to launch. With support from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, it developed the Corporate Leaders Program.

The idea-generating exercises presented a “typical BOP family” in Latin America: farmer father, vendor wife, and three sons. The conference participants brainstormed about how their companies might better connect with such a family; then came up with additional ideas about how their core business activities might be adjusted or extended to engage with BOP communities. The attendees also had the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments with Dalberg consultants to get feedback on their initial concepts.

In 2010, Opportunities for the Majority combined elements of an information seminar, a business plan competition and a business development exercise and created the Corporate Leaders Program for Success in Majority Markets (CLP). The CLP was intended to get a broad range of companies interested in BOP business models, identify several companies with promising but undeveloped concepts, and help those companies get their business plans ready to launch. The program was designed and executed in partnership with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a management consulting firm with experience working in developing economies and with development finance institutions. The CLP’s activities were funded by the Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund.

OMJ then opened up an application process, inviting any medium-to-large company based in an IDB member country, to describe its BOP business concepts. For this variation on a standard business plan competition, the “winners” would receive not a cash prize, but consulting services, including on-site visits, from Dalberg staff, that would help them develop their business plans further and set them up to approach potential investors or explore other kinds of partnerships to support the launch of the projects.

The first element of the CLP was a daylong conference, the BOP Modeling Workshop, held in Miami, Florida on September 19, 2010. Executives from over 50 companies gathered to hear presentations from a variety of experts on BOP business models, and to engage in exercises meant to stimulate their ideas about how they and their companies could get involved in this sphere of business.


• Empresa Promotora de Servicios de Salud (EPSS), which has developed a successful business model for offering health care services to low-income residents in Guatemala, and is considering expanding its reach into nearby countries. • IMSA, a Honduran flour producer owned by Grupo Corona, which proposes partnering with female entrepreneurs who will use IMSA’s flours to make breads and tortillas and sell them in their communities. • Lego ZOOM, the official distributor in Brazil of LEGO, the Danish international toy manufacturer, which is developing educational materials that support early childhood development, and distributing them to childcare centers in low-income areas through a social franchising model. • 3M, an American-owned multinational producer of a variety of products, which is interested in creating affordable technology products, such as projectors, that can be used in classrooms and for various training purposes.

OMJ received 20 applications, and in consultation with Dalberg staff, chose eight companies whose proposals were especially strong. They represented a range of sectors, sizes and countries, demonstrating the need for and the potential of BOP business projects throughout the region.

As of fall 2011, three of the five projects were exploring the possibility of pursuing IDB financing to launch their BOP models.

Five of the eight finalists elected to move forward promptly with the advisory services, and engaged in intensive work with the Dalberg team over the course of several months. These five are:

While OMJ’s initial concept for the CLP was larger in scope, allowing for consulting services for up to 10 companies, the workshop stage of the program went very well, and the materials produced will be used in future OMJ corporate workshops, and are currently available via the OMJ website,

• Comfama, a Colombian social enterprise with a proposed rent-to-own housing model that will allow low-income people to accumulate savings and trigger housing subsidies, allowing them in turn to access a mortgage.


RESULTS: THE CORPORATE LEADERS PROGRAM FOR SUCCESS IN MAJORITY MARKETS • 50 companies participated in BOP Modeling Workshop • 20 business model concepts submitted to program • 8 projects selected as eligible to join Corporate Leaders Program • 5 companies received intensive consulting support from Dalberg Global Development Advisors and have developed their BOP business models • 3 companies exploring IDB financing options • Effective, innovative training materials will be used at future OMJ corporate workshops • Unknown: number of additional companies that will use information presented at workshop to develop BOP projects

“These companies were chosen because we believe they will serve as leaders in their fields, showing the corporate world what BOP business plans are all about. As they launch their projects, they will serve as examples to others, and the impact will grow from there.” – OMJ Principal Investment Officer Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen


Patrimonio Hoy: Building Prosperity at Home


One of the largest challenges for companies and others involved in BOP business models is bringing these projects to scale. The concept of effecting social change by engaging with underserved segments of society is exciting, but still relatively young. As they would with any new line of business, companies generally start small and test out the models with pilot projects. In the coming years, many will expand to reach entire cities, countries or regions, but for now, most companies are working on a neighborhood or village level. After years of pilot testing and growing its model incrementally, CEMEX’s Patrimonio Hoy program is now ready to cross borders and more than double its reach, with support from Market Solutions for Social Change Fund and the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative.

Mexico-based cement manufacturer CEMEX was a pioneer when it launched its first BOP business project, Patrimonio Hoy, in 1998, becoming one of the first large Latin American firms to enter this space. Throughout the developing world, low-income families often build homes incrementally, as their cash-flow permits. Construction takes place in fits and starts, and having to buy materials multiple times in small amounts means that costs end up being higher than they would have been if the family could have paid up front. CEMEX’s innovation was to develop a savings and microcredit program that allows unbanked individuals with no credit history to buy their materials from the company, and pay back the loan in affordable installments over a 70-week period. In addition to extending Patrimonio Hoy in the region, CEMEX is introducing new value-added versions of its loan products. Besides the traditional savings and credit product, clients will also be able to choose between PH Lower-Income Product, which allows clients with even lower incomes to access loans through


a savings-credit scheme; PH Labor Credit, which finances skilled labor support for families without selfconstruction know-how; and PH Materials Credit, which allows families with better credit scores or who have participated in one of the two savings-credit program to access full credit in the form of materials. Over the decade since Patrimonio Hoy began, CEMEX has gradually expanded the program across Mexico, where it is now active in 84 cities and has reached over 300,000 families. It also began piloting the model in other countries: Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. Now, it plans to reach 750,000 additional households—a total of over 3.7 million individuals—over the next five years. CEMEX is again a pioneer; no other BOP business model in Latin America has reached this level of scale.

“We’re not talking about modifying business standards, but simply some practices, to be able to reach low-income families.” – Israel Moreno, Director, Patrimonio Hoy


Taking Patrimonio Hoy to the next level has required careful, thorough work to identify any gaps in the model that might inhibit it from finding success on a larger scale. With technical assistance funds from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, CEMEX has been able to train its sales force in the new product offerings and the client requirements for each. It has strengthened its marketing and outreach efforts, to ensure that it is reaching potential clients. It has also set up a program evaluation framework that will improve its capacity to assess both the commercial and social impact of the program.

RESULTS: PATRIMONIO HOY • • • • • • • • •

Now that CEMEX is well prepared, the IDB, through the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, is supporting the scaling up through a partial credit guarantee of up to US$10 million, which will help CEMEX to stay at the front of the pack when it comes to BOP business models in the region.


100 Loan Officers trained 84 Salesforce Officers trained 30 Marketing and Communications Officers trained New credit lending methodology developed and adopted New salesforce strategy will increase effectiveness and client attraction and retention IT systems upgraded to allow better reporting and analysis 3 new credit products now available to clients Patrimonio Hoy to expand into 4 more countries Program to reach 750,000 more households, bringing housing solutions to over 3.7 million individuals

The 1st Base Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean


The BOP business landscape in Latin America and the Caribbean is growing and changing very rapidly. There have been few opportunities for all the actors involved in this work—companies, investors, entrepreneurs, international development organizations, nonprofits, academics, government agencies, and more—to gather together to hear success stories, talk about challenges and network with each other. In June 2011, with support from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund and other sponsors, the IDB hosted the 1st BASE Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean, bringing nearly 800 people to Brazil for the region’s largest conference yet on BOP business models.

The 1st BASE Forum for the Development of the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean, held June 27-28 at the Fecomercio in São Paulo, featured over 50 speakers at a conference designed to showcase the accomplishments so far of BOP business models throughout the region, to identify remaining challenges and to discuss solutions. The forum’s first day focused on “SMEs for the BOP,” or small and medium-sized enterprises that serve the base of the pyramid. Since smaller firms are usually closely tied to the communities in which they are based, they have unique opportunities to get to know their customers and the particular needs of the lower-income populations in their area. Additionally, with a supportive environment in place, some of the microenterprises that originate at the base of the pyramid may be able to grow into stable, profitable small businesses. A highlight of the first day was the announcement of a new program to promote the development of BOP business models among Brazilian SMEs. This collaboration between Opportunities for the Majority, the InterAmerican Investment Corporation, Banco Itau-Unibanco and Endeavor Brazil, with financial support from the

Republic of Korea’s IIC Korea SME Development Trust Fund, will enroll 100 SMEs in an intensive capacitybuilding program, and provide resources to an additional 500. The design and planning of this program was carried out using resources from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund. The official program for the second day was broad in scope, designed to have something for everyone, from business people who know little about BOP business models, to managers already deeply involved in such


BOP expert: Brazil’s middle class expansion continues In 2010, Marcelo Cortes Neri, director of the Center for Social Policy at the Getulio Vargas Foundation in São Paulo, published a landmark study, “Brazil’s Emerging Middle Class: The Bright Side of the Poor” that showed definitively that Brazilian government programs and the country’s strong economic growth had contributed to a large reduction in poverty and corresponding increase in the middle class: some 30 million people had left the lowest economic classes, D and E, and had moved into Class C. As part of the 1st Base Forum, OMJ, using resources from the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, sponsored Neri’s follow-up report, “Emerging Groups in Emerging Countries: Global Reflections and Local Actions for the Brazilian New Middle Class.” [LINK cps/brics/ ] Neri’s latest research shows that the upward mobility he identified in his earlier work has continued, with a total of 43 million Brazilians now having moved from poverty into the middle class. He also showed how, in several indicators, from inequality to happiness, Brazil is outperforming its fellow “BRICS” nations (Russia, India, China, South Africa). Neri’s work has been influential in demonstrating to companies the potential size of the underserved market in Brazil, as well as the social benefits of targeted investment in low-income populations.

projects. Executives from many leading regional and international firms, including DuPont, Walmart, Novartis, Procter & Gamble, CEMEX, LEGO ZOOM and PepsiCo, addressed the gathering, offering examples of their companies’ interactions with the base of the pyramid. Some were quite clever, such as a story told by Tarek Farahat, head of Procter & Gamble Brazil, about increasing market share among low-income consumers from

5 to 30% by promoting its extra-absorbent diapers as better for parents who had to share a room with their babies and also had to get up very early for a long work day. Some took the opportunity to inspire new ways of thinking in the audience, such as Nizan Guanaes, head of grupo ABC, a leading Brazilian marketing firm. He exhorted the executives in the room to open their eyes to the low-income people all around them—or as he put it, “the Donha Marias, riding the bus,” who want—and deserve—the same access to the quality and variety of products that the middle and upper classes enjoy. Others were instructional, like LEGO ZOOM CEO Mary Anne Amorim, who talked about how her company had to let go of all preconceived notions and really listen to and learn from low-income communities as they developed their early education products.


Two sets of simultaneous breakout sessions explored issues in depth, such as housing, the digital divide, and working with partner organizations to reach scale. There were also several lively networking opportunities throughout the day.

RESULTS: 1ST BASE FORUM • 800 people learned about innovative BOP business projects in the region • Launch of an SME development program in Brazil that will support 600 small business owners with their BOP projects • Release of groundbreaking research on Brazil’s emerging middle class • Extensive media coverage in Brazil and elsewhere in region exposed millions more to BOP business concepts • Over 40 potential IDB investment contacts made

While the chance to get together to talk about lessons learned and share news about interesting and innovative BOP ventures was appreciated by all present, the forum’s best value may prove to be the networking and new connections—OMJ staff are still following up with over 40 contacts collected at the event and discussing potential projects and partnerships that may grow out of them.


Opportunities for the Majority and the Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund: The Work Continues Opportunities for the Majority initiative continues to develop a diverse pipeline of potential projects, including models for affordable insurance products, mobile phone applications for healthcare providers, early childhood education, and the first OMJ projects in Haiti. With technical cooperation resources available for research, training, pilot testing and other non-operational activities, these projects have a greater chance for success and will be able to serve more people and will have a greater impact on the base of the pyramid in the region. The Market Solutions for Social Change Strategic Thematic Fund was created to fill that need.

RESULTS: THE MARKET SOLUTIONS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE STRATEGIC THEMATIC FUND • Through VisionSpring: Tens of thousands of Salvadorans already see more clearly with their new eyeglasses; millions of low-income Latin Americans will eventually benefit from regional expansion. • Through the Corporate Leaders Program: At least five companies developed promising BOP business plans; many companies will benefit from future training workshops on building successful BOP business models. • Through Patrimonio Hoy: A proven BOP housing model has additional credit offerings, a strengthened structure, and is ready to be taken to scale with significant regional expansion. Millions of low-income people will benefit. • Through the BASE Forum: Eight hundred people learned more about the potential and the power of BOP business models, as did countless more through press coverage generated by the event; six hundred Brazilian entrepreneurs will take part in new training programs to help develop their BOP projects; an unknown number of future projects will benefit from research presented by Professor Marcelo Neri.

Contributors to the Fund will have a gateway to gain access to the Opportunities for the Majority financing facility, which offers loans and guarantees to support innovative business models that aim to improve the lives of the low-income majority. The Market Solutions for Social Change Fund seeks to mobilize nonfinancial, as well as financial, contributions that can be deployed to ensure the success of innovative BOP business ventures through special partnerships established with contributors and other investors. With the support of the Market Solutions for Social Change Fund, ever-larger and more inventive achievements are possible. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a partner in OMJ’s work through contributing to the Fund, please contact



Opportunities for the Majority 1300 New York Avenue NW Washington, DC 20577 USA +1. 202.623.1819

OMJ Market Based Solutions for Social Change STF  

OMJ's strategic thematic fund

OMJ Market Based Solutions for Social Change STF  

OMJ's strategic thematic fund