One of the realities of the modern world is the problem of global poverty. Experts have learned that poverty is structural and is a driving force for holding many human beings back from being able to realize their full potential and provide the sorts of lives and futures that they would like to for their families. If, as United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once suggested, we are to view the distribution of wealth as though it was shaped like a pyramid we would find that most of the prosperity and resources are concentrated at the top of the pyramid, its thinnest parts, while the majority of people living on the planet today have found themselves at the bottom of the pyramid. Those that live at the bottom of the economic pyramid that President Roosevelt once spoke of number in the billions today. Economist Paul Collier wrote a book referring to this demographic and termed them the “bottom billion.” These people are often forced to live on a few dollars a day or even less than that.

 

Oftentimes when the business world thinks of the consumer demographics that it wants to create new products or to develop new services for, it often considers only the customers who are closest to the top of the pyramid. We often see many new services, products or apps that are geared at people who have thousands or hundreds of dollars in disposable income to spend each year. While it certainly makes sense to gear one’s business towards customers that have more money there are also many chances to develop products and services that are geared towards the bottom billion. Believe it or not these consumers can also represent a great business opportunity as their numbers are far greater than the customers who are closer to the top of the economic pyramid. There is just as much need for new services and new technologies among these consumer groups as there are for consumers that live in economies that are more developed.

 

One way to target these customers is to consider opening businesses and participating in the financial services sectors that exist in emerging economies like Brazil, India, the region of West Africa and the nation of South Africa. There are investment banking companies like the Chicago-based firm Madison Street Capital that have experience working in emerging markets likes the South Asian nation of India and the West African country of Ghana. The Madison Street Capital reputation for succeeding in emerging markets is a respected one that helped the company to garner a nod from M&A Advisors that landed it on the shortlist for a trophy for Best International Boutique Investment Firm of the Year at the 15th Annual M&A Advisors Awards. The company specializes in mergers and acquisitions and places participation in emerging markets as being core to its business strategy.

Visit http://madisonstreetcapital.org/ for more details.