This article asks, after discussing the shift away from the BoP in social business, "who will have the resources needed to ensure that those people in the BoP today will ever reach the EM segment in the future?" The argument is that only large businesses with sufficient funding for R&D will be able to provide products, and more importantly, access to these products, that will allow for the poorest of the poor to enter the mainstream economy, thereby becoming part of the emerging middle class.
However, this argument seems to ignore, or at least greatly underestimate, the social impetus among social entrepreneurs. Social entrepreneurship has not primarily risen to prominence because it is purely profitable, a way to reach new and untapped markets. More and more, businesses have begun to realize just how difficult end-user distribution networks are to scale. Instead, social enterprise is on the rise because it is proving itself as a sustainable means for development, not dissimilar to the NGOs mentioned in the article, but with more internal self reliance in their operations. This article may still need to contend with the social capital social entrepreneurs seek to raise, as being of greater reward than dominant market share.
Article Excerpt: In a recent article in the Economic Times, companies have revealed ongoing struggles with being able to monetize and scale products targeting the world’s poorest. Instead, many companies have refocused on what has been termed the Emerging Middle, those consumers who are entering into the middle class and have a greater amount of disposable income.