Summary of The Business Solution to Poverty

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The Business Solution to Poverty book summary


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Paul Polak and Mal Warwick, two credentialed veterans in the war against poverty in the “Global South,” make a case that the decades-long efforts of public and private forces to better the lot of the world’s desperately poor have largely failed. They offer an alternative – a proven “business method that transforms the poor into employees of profitable local enterprises and improves improve their quality of life. The authors outline workable strategies and offer examples of successes and failures. They stress product affordability, simplicity, “aspirational branding” and the potential to scale up. The issue of scale – expanding from hundreds of thousands of customers to billions across the globe – remains a significant obstacle. Polak and Warwick hold that multinational corporations must recognize that their continued growth depends on creating markets and products for these populations. getAbstract recommends the authors’ illuminating work to transnational executives, entrepreneurs, inventors, investors, international development officers, NGOs and anyone who seeks viable answers to the problem of world poverty.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why private and public efforts to reduce global poverty have failed,
  • What business approaches have eased poverty, and
  • What obstacles companies must overcome to expand their scale and reach the billions of people who still live in poverty.

About the Authors

Paul Polak founded IDE and Windhorse International, and cofounded SpringHealth India. Social responsibility advocate Mal Warwick is board chairman of Mal Warwick-Donordigital.



“A Compelling Business Case”
Allowing 2.7 billion people to subsist in poverty – meaning earning less than $2 a day – is a moral stain on humanity, but it is also a practical loss that affects everyone on the planet. Addressing poverty would eliminate a “horrendous waste of human talent...

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