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New Approaches to Alleviating Poverty

Tuesday, Mar. 2, 2010

As interest grows in the possibility of addressing poverty by business activity at "the bottom of the pyramid," social entrepreneurs confront a set of ethical questions about marketing to these impoverished market segments. 

Center Visiting Scholar Nicholas Santos, SJ, provided a framework for looking at this issue in a presentation last week with SCU Professor of Management Dennis Moberg.  Here is his list of promises and threats:

Promise of inclusive capitalism

  • Including those kept at the periphery of development
  • Increase in employment opportunities
  • Better standard of living

Threat of increased exploitation

  • Unconscionable labor practices
  • Predatory lending
  • Tainted insurance
  • Exorbitant rent-to-own transactions
  • Vulnerabilities of the BoP consumers
  • Desire of BoP consumers for better quality products and improved quality of life

Tags: business ethics