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2015 BoP Global Network Summit 
Entrepreneurship from the Bottom Up

Innovation ecosystems, new business models, scaling enterprises, innovative financial instruments and role of the Corporation, Government, and other stakeholders in bringing new opportunities to the worlds’ poorest populations, including those in the developed world, were among the main topics of the second international BoP Global Network Summit. The event took place in Burlington, Vermont on July 16th and 17th with the aim to expand business opportunities from traditional and increasingly competitive markets to promote inclusive business from the bottom up. Key sponsors included Novelis, PepsiCo, Novo Nordisk, CEMEX, Interface, Ben & Jerry’s and Facebook.

The Summit was organized by Enterprise for a sustainable World (ESW) and the University of Vermont, in collaboration with the BoP Global Network Labs and several key  partners who shared learnings from real-life BoP business initiatives being implemented by entrepreneurs and corporate innovators on the ground.

The Summit brought together 200 participants from more than 30 countries including academics, students, international and local NGOs, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, national governments, international aid agencies, impact investors, multilateral organizations, and development advisory services.

 The Summit enabled participants to share experiences, explore emerging BoP opportunities, delve deeper into key challenges through focused workshops and working groups, and learn from top academics and practitioners in the field.  The Summit also brought together the BoP Global Network Lab leaders (present in more than 25 countries across the world) along with experts such as Stuart Hart, Ted London, Steven Kotler, Iqbal Quadir, Anil Gupta among others.

The Summit was designed to be interactive and action oriented, geared to create an action agenda that will be presented in the Summit Report in the following weeks. To achieve this objective, the Summit was designed to include provoking plenaries to challenge and stimulate creative thinking, followed by breakout sessions geared toward building networks, action agendas and new initiatives.  Program Guide.

The three main topics of the plenaries included: Where the Disruptive Technologies for BoP Innovations would come from, How BoP Business Logic Could be Applied on the BoP in the Developed World and The Challenges and Opportunities of System Thinking for BoP Sustainability.

The breakout sessions were divided into three key work areas:

1. BoP Labs Sessions: The global labs shared their key expertise and experience in BoP Research, Strategy Development, Business Model Implementation and Training,

2. Challenges Sessions:  Five key challenges including financing the ”Donut Hole”, scaling enterprises, role of the Government , role of the Corporation, and measuring impact at the BoP were discussed in these working groups.

3. Domain Sessions:  This set of working groups explored breaking silos and creating ecosystems in Food & Agriculture, Sustainable Materials, New Mobility, BoP Finance, Affordable Healthcare, Affordable Housing, Digital ICT and Distributed Energy at the BoP.

Stay tuned for the detailed Summit report on the BoP Global Network website in the following weeks. To receive a link to the Summit Report and further information on our global activities visit us here.

The BoP Global Network Team