Many of us—from development consultants to researchers to economists—want to believe Mr. Prahalad’s argument that we can eradicate poverty through profits. Business leaders want to believe in it, too. But, with the exception of a handful of projects, many big businesses have struggled to make inroads at the base of the pyramid. To drive large-scale change, we must find better ways for big business to contribute to societal good.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be exploring the intersection of private enterprise and social enterprise. I welcome your comments and ideas.