Programs & Projects

Focusing on the Next Generation: An Exploration of Enterprise Poverty Impact on Children

November 2011 - December 2013


The project “Focusing on the Next Generation: An Exploration of Enterprise Poverty Impacts on Children” consisted of qualitatively assessing the impacts of six inclusive businesses across sectors (sanitation, healthcare, agribusiness, renewable energy, housing) and geographies (Latin America and East Africa) on children ages 0-8 years. Funded by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation (BvLF), WDI conducted semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face interviews with approximately 170 persons from the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). The project team reviewed data regularly to identify emerging patterns. A variety of key and local stakeholders were interviewed to allow for triangulation of impacts. The data collected was coded and analyzed to make cross-stakeholder comparisons within the business on three areas of well-being: Economic, capability and relationship. WDI also analyzed the data to make cross-business comparisons by area of well-being and by stakeholder (customer, distributor, employee and persons in the broader community that do not engage with the venture). The team developed detailed research case studies on six BoP business models from different sectors and geographies including CEMEX’s Patrimonio Hoy, Sanergy, Honey Care Africa, Solar Aid’s SunnyMoney, Villa Andina and Penda Health.  These case studies will be used by BvLF for three main purposes: (1) as part of the BvLF’s efforts to mobilize resources and support a Young Child Venture Fund; (2) to identify social investment opportunities for BvLF; and (3) to influence leaders in the field of social impact investing to include metrics related to young children in their measurement systems.  The Honey Care Africa research case study was also developed into a teaching case now available through WDI Publishing.  WDI also generated an article that summarizes the findings across the ventures. A version of this summary article was selected as a finalist for the Social Issues in Management Division’s Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting. Additionally findings from research with Sanergy was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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