Summary of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Eradicating Poverty Through Profits

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The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid book summary
If you want to pull poor people out of poverty, give them a job. Or, better yet, sell them each something small and useful.


9 Overall

9 Applicability

10 Innovation

8 Style


C.K. Prahalad’s excellent book suggests replacing traditional notions of government-channeled aid with a new model for relieving poverty and stimulating development. The new model relies on profit-making businesses, especially multinational corporations (MNCs). The MNCs have an economic incentive to tap the great market that exists, all but hidden, at the bottom of the economic pyramid. The professor of business administrations demonstrates clearly that it is possible to develop business models that allow the poorest of the poor to participate actively in their own economic development by becoming entrepreneurs. Although the individuals at the bottom of the pyramid (referred to as BOP) have little money, collectively they represent a vast pool of purchasing power. They welcome opportunities to escape their oppressive burdens, including predatory intermediaries, corrupt governments and the societal “poverty penalty” that requires them to pay more than the rich for similar services. Clearly written, well documented and furnished with an abundance of anecdotes, getAbstract considers this book a must-read both for those interested in alleviating poverty and for those looking to tap a vast new market for consumer goods.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How business can help relieve global poverty and
  • Why worldwide corporations can be productive in this aim, maybe more than governments.


A New Approach to the Problem of Poverty
For the past several decades, three mistaken assumptions have guided efforts to solve the problem of poverty: 1) Countries are poor because they have no resources; 2) the best return on aid investment comes from education and health care; and 3) ...
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About the Author

C.K. Prahalad is Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration and professor of corporate strategy and international business at the University of Michigan Business School. He co-authored the global business bestseller Competing for the Future.

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