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January 08, 2010

What Can Multinationals Learn from Mom and Pop?

Catherine New
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The future of poverty eradication lies in the private sector, says Nancy Barry, president and CEO of Enterprise Solutions to Poverty. Barry, former CEO of Women’s World Banking, created the venture to mobilize corporations and entrepreneurs to engage millions of low-income people to build competitive business models. In an exclusive interview with Columbia Business School at the 2009 Social Enterprise Conference, Barry highlighted the ways in which U.S. and European multinational companies can learn from emerging markets.

“In [companies’] engagement they are still skating on the surface,” she said in the video interview. “Their traditional business models and ways of working are getting in their way. They need to actually learn from emerging markets and entrepreneurs how to build decentralized distribution systems. The beauty of decentralized systems is that the mom-and-pops of this world actually are the poor people. If you figure out a way how to add value to that mom-and-pop, which is your distribution system, you are helping that family make more money and you are selling more products.”

View more videos from the 2009 Social Enterprise Conference.


by Prateek Raj | January 10, 2010 at 1:29 PM

I am an IIT final-year undergrad doing a thesis in the similar field. I find Nancy's views regarding the strengths of mom and pop shops very intriuging. Is there any way of contacting her or somebody at Enterprise Solutions for Poverty? Thanks! :)

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