Southern Africa’s is one of the world’s key emerging markets. With 275 million people, the 15 countries which form the Southern African Development Community (SADC) account for an estimated 27 % of Africa’s population, but also 45% of the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP), a market of over 600 billion US $.  While exciting opportunities are arising as a result of improvements in living standards and economic growth, a significant part of the population still lives below the poverty line. Even in South Africa, by far the region’s richest country, an estimated 23% of the population earn less than US $ 2 per day. Far too many people are not benefiting from economic growth, and this lack of inclusive growth threatens to derail the progress that has been made so far.

The private sector can play a significant role in addressing the challenges of poverty and inequality. Businesses drive economic growth by creating employment, and by selling and purchasing goods and services. In low income communities, business and entrepreneurship can be vehicles of social transformation. The ability of business to engage at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) is crucial to our development and prosperity.

However, the challenges to are huge. Companies need to design successful business models, sometimes by changing established mindsets and challenging conventional wisdom. They can learn from each other’s experience, exchange intelligence and keep pace with new developments.

The BoP Learning Lab is meant to provide sources of inspiration, to be the toolbox with which the Southern African corporate fabric can maximise its social impact at the bottom of the pyramid.

The Lab is managed by Reciprocity.


The Lab:

Investigates and documents the impact of businesses in low income segments

Download the latest factsheets - Publications page

Bring together Corporates, Civil Society and Public Sector around initiatives and sectorial opportunities

Download the invitation to the next BoP Workshops - Events Page

Offers a wide range of customised consulting services intended to develop a business strategy to a low income environment

Visit our services page - Services Page



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The BoP Lab (Southern Africa)