BOP Business Solutions to End Global Poverty 
by Jack Sim, Founder of BOP HUB
USD 2.50 a day. There are more than seven billion people in the world today, but most goods and services are only serving three billion rich and middle-class. The other four billion earning less than USD eight a day are left outside our formal economy. Most of them earn an average of USD 2.50 a day.
While the rich and middle-class get electricity, water and sewage connections the poor tend to live Off-Grid without electricity, water and sanitation connections. The result is they have to pay a poverty penalty for everything they buy. For example, the poor buy water in jerry cans and carry them home, while the rich get it for free on taps piped to their homes.
When the poor borrow money from micro-finance institutions, they pay between 25% and 50% interest per year while the rich pay much less. Sometimes, the loan sharks charge up to 40% interest per month!!! The poor earn less and have to pay more, that's not right.
So many people gave donations, but charity giving might not help too much. In fact, giving free stuff creates the market price of Zero and no local entrepreneurs can compete with this price point. Without entrepreneurs, no job is created and therefore the poverty cycles continue to self-perpetuate. So, the best way to help the poor is to help them build their capacity to help themselves.
We can donate money to train them in vocational skills or help teach them to create small businesses, or transfer technology to them so they can operate it themselves, or lend them money to start small businesses that can help them make profits to sustain and grow their business and employ even more people.
As more people earn more money, they generate their own economy and soon they acquire income which allows them to buy better quality of life such as clean water, good sanitation and hygiene, safe housing, ICT, education, cooking stoves, solar lamps, etc.
The poor of today will be the middle-class consumers of tomorrow. By inviting them into our formal global economy, we can help them get access to improved quality of life cheaper, faster, better and easier. With good sanitation, hygiene and clean water, the poor can be healthy and productive to earn more money. With technology like ICT, they can cut middle-men and get better prices for their produce. Also they can do banking and education on the phone.
BOP HUB is a non-profit platform to accelerate the speed of such a transformation from dependency to self-sustainability via the entrepreneurial approach. Teach them to fish instead of giving a fish.
The BOP World Convention is the global trade convention for cross sector collaboration where all industrial players and customers meet to trade and collaborate. Its first convention this year attracted 550 international companies, social entrepreneurs, technologists, philanthropists, governments, and academics who collaborate across sectors to deliver integrated products and services.
As businesses, funders, NGOs, social entrepreneurs, academics, governments and technologists converge to compete to serve the poor as customers, we create an efficient marketplace where everyone forms part of a sustainable ecosystem.
Just as nature has zero waste, this BOP ecosystem will make full use of the residual opportunities offered by the service gaps to remedy market failures and government failures of the past. The BOP HUB Accelerator program will map, match and motivate your individual effort into a synergized group effort so you can grow your impact without growing your overheads.
A BOP Design Center will be built in Singapore to facilitate the coordination of design solutions starting from identification of needs and moving on to prototypes, to field testing, to procurement, to implementation, training, distribution, and market promotion. This Design Center will work 24 hours 7 days a week to become the Timeless Zone coordinating design solutions across all countries and time zones so that all of us can be borderlessly collaborating with each other from all angles of expertise and experience.
When we unlock the spirit of enterprise of the poor, we open up their pathways out of poverty. Entrepreneurship can deliver both wealth and social justice, if we connect our head to our heart and our hands. Together, we can make the world fairer, better and nobody needs to be poor any more.
BOP HUB: Designing Business to End Poverty. Let's Walk this Beautiful & Meaningful Journey Together.
w w w. bophub. org