Scaling Impact



A report, co-written by Ted London and Colm Fay that investigates Walmart’s efforts to incorporate small producers into its global supply chain, was presented at the 7th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2016. Learn more here.


WDI’S Scaling Impact Initiative develops actionable tools and methodologies that enable impact enterprises to achieve financial sustainability and alleviate poverty in Base of the Pyramid markets. We believe enterprise strategies are a key pathway for achieving sustainable, scalable impact.

Something amazing happens when the right resources are combined with innovative business models. Enterprises developed for BoP markets and supported by partners in the development community become both effective tools for impact, and agents of change.

ted_workshopBut our understanding of how to do this remains incomplete. Motivation to have a positive impact is only the first step. We must continue working together to understand how to design, develop and scale this impact.


By generating new knowledge and translating this into actionable recommendations, strategies, and frameworks, we enable our partners to bring their vision to life.  This means utilizing the following tools to synthesize thought leadership, capabilities, findings and experience into the creation of enterprise strategies and development interventions.

  • cutting-edge, field-based research
  • customized advising and consulting
  • engagement models
  • personalized training programs
  • ability to convene key stakeholders and disseminate new knowledge

Our unique approach helps our partners succeed and their success enhances our knowledge.


Together we can build scalable businesses and alleviate poverty, but we have to approach collaboration in new ways, and with a diverse set of partners.   Our collaborations with some of the world’s most innovative organizations enhance how we go about achieving our mission.


Multinational Companies:

 walmart  ITC  cemex


Entrepreneurial Ventures:







Development Organizations:







“Change will occur. The only question is who is going to make it happen and when.” — Paul Clyde, WDI President

Partnering with us is an investment in learning. It is the next step in understanding how to achieve sustainable impact at scale. Learn more below.

WDI Photo

WDI’s Scaling Impact Initiative believes that sustainable, scalable impact enterprises require leaders to have a set of guiding principles to create value with the BoP.  So we have developed a set of actionable knowledge, tools, and strategies to our collaborations that help enterprise leaders create the conditions for success.


There are four key steps in developing sustainable enterprises that can achieve sustainability at scale:

  1. Design for success. Understand the components needed to develop business models that sustainably serve those at the base of the pyramid.
  2. Plan for scale. Understand the best practices and pathways by which scale is achieved.
  3. Assess and manage the value that you are creating with those at the base of the pyramid.
  4.  Develop partnerships that help to create an enabling ecosystem – partnerships that help develop the venture, but also partnerships that help to create the market in which the venture operates.


The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and Scale Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid Making Better Investments at the Base of the Pyramid Focusing on the Next Generation: An Exploration of Enterprise Impacts

The Scaling Impact Initiative works with enterprises to increase their likelihood of success through executive advising and education, and on the ground partnerships.


We offer customized training programs for enterprise teams and leaders interested in enhancing their understanding of and capability in:

  • Market-entry strategies
  • Business model development
  • Competitive advantage
  • Sustainability at scale
  • Cross-sector collaborations
  • Mutual value creation


We add value to our enterprise partners by helping them reflect on past experiences, identify learnings, tackle current challenges and develop new strategies to achieve sustainability at scale.


We partnered with Walmart to develop the case study “Walmart and USAID: The Evolution of Global Cross-Sector Partnership”, which demonstrates the role of cross-sector collaborations in addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.

walmart“Read it and use it. It’s going to be very helpful inside Walmart…We have colleagues working on our global responsibility around the world, and understanding the mechanisms for structuring relationships can be very helpful for (them).” –– Beth Keck, Senior Director for Women’s Economic Empowerment, Walmart

Walmart/USAID Partnership Case Study (Project Overview) WDI Develops Case Study on Walmart-USAID Partnership (WDI News Story) Walmart and USAID: The Evolution of a Global, Cross-Sector Partnership (Case Study)


The third largest cement manufacturer in the world, CEMEX, decided it needed to move from selling materials to selling solutions, so a low income housing model was created. The Innovation in Housing for the Poor case explores how CEMEX makes housing affordable and possible for the poor in Mexico.

cemexCEMEX’s Patrimonio Hoy: Creating Sustainable Social Impact through Dignified Housing. Patrimonio Hoy is one of the first private initiatives that combine what most companies aspire to: it is a real inclusive business being profitable and at the same time producing important social and economic impacts to the participating families and communities.

Constructing a Base of the Pyramid Business in a Multinational Corporation: CEMEX’s Patrimonio Hoy Looks to Grow (Case Study) CEMEX’s Patrimonio Hoy: At the Tipping Point? (Case Study) An Interview with Henning Alts Schoutzof CEMEX (Video Interview)

The Scaling Impact Initiative tackles some of the most pressing issues facing the development community and is helping to build the knowledge base on inclusive business and achieving value for money in development investments.

Development community leader partnerships allow us to:

  • Understand how to better support impact enterprises
  • Create effective cross-sector partnerships
  • Apply knowledge to scale the impact of their programs


Germany’s Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has collaborated with the Scaling Impact Initiative on projects examining inclusive business.
gizlogoThe 2015 project “ Improving Inclusive Business through Enhanced Relationships with Scaling Facilitators” focused on better understanding the landscape of organizations that support the scaling of inclusive business. Collaborations also include a 2015 project on Strategies to Support Inclusive Business Scaling.










Our mission is more than just developing new knowledge. We believe that opportunities expand exponentially as ideas are shared. By facilitating a conversation between the business and development communities, we will build the roadmap for the sustainable, scalable businesses of tomorrow.


The Scaling Impact Initiative team delivers keynote addresses, presentations and workshops at conferences and for organizational leadership teams around the world.

The Scaling Impact Initiative has recently attended:



The Scaling Impact Initiative’s events bring together a diverse community of thought leaders from the corporate, non-profit, development, foundation, and entrepreneurial worlds.

We have hosted four major conferences over the last 10 years that have helped develop a shared vision for the BoP domain.

Our most recent conference was the BoP Summit: Creating an Action Agenda for the Next Decade at the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School. The BoP Summit brought together a diverse set of over 200 BoP leaders from 24 countries. The Summit was specifically designed to stimulate dialog and provide a venue for rich conversation and honest feedback on relevant topics for the domain.


The outputs of the summit were captured in A Roadmap for the Base of the Pyramid Domain: Re-energizing for the Next Decade.






Programs & Projects

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