The next 3 Billion (N3B) is the additional 3 Billion aspiring class of people who will enter the low and low- middle income brackets globally by 2030 with a majority living in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. While the N3B will be the global economic growth driver, it cannot be taken as a homogeneous group as it is characterized by diverse languages, religions, economic and social status, and is marred with complex social problems (1).
At the same time, N3B is an economically active demographic segment presenting a valuable opportunity to think about innovations in a whole new way, where making profits and making sustainable impact are indispensable to growth strategy. This low-income and low-middle income population segment has rising aspirations and is seeking opportunities both through inclusion and consumption. Already emerging as hubs of entrepreneurship, innovation and investment, these markets are rapidly seeing lines fade between traditional and impact investors. The time is right to immerse in deep and wide thinking on “Innovations for the Next 3 Billion”.
Celebrating entrepreneurship at its core, the Global Sankalp Summit 2016 is all about rethinking businesses, rethinking scale, rethinking policies, rethinking investments for the N3B, and hence accelerating “Innovations for N3B” that combine profits with sustainable impact.
Hundreds and thousands of enterprises in the Global South are entrenched in local markets, and have consistently been able to develop responsive products and services for the masses that are affordable and contextual. On the other hand, there are constant innovations emerging out of design and innovation labs in the Global North that seek to solve problems for the bottom of the pyramid populations in developing markets. Entrepreneurship, backed with the right investments can help the two sides meet and innovate at scale for N3B.
A Call to Action
The Global Sankalp Summit 2016 is a call to action for entrepreneurs and innovators from across the globe to showcase their innovations, inspire and get inspired!
It is also a call to action for all critical stakeholders, including corporations, intermediaries, development finance institutions, academia and the government to come together, debate and collaborate on how to support innovations to scale and create larger impact. For the governments of these emerging markets working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, this is the opportunity to launch policies with a special focus on supporting entrepreneurship and early stage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to increase incomes, create jobs and provide access to essential services.
For corporations, this is the time to combine their global resources with local knowledge and support entrepreneurship. The time is ripe for products and services that are responsive to the unmet needs of the new and aspiring middle class. For investors and funders, the time is apt to revisit their funding strategy and identify critical areas of support to encourage innovations that can address issues of social and financial inclusion at scale for the N3B.
Join us at the Global Sankalp Summit 2016 in Mumbai to discuss debate and contribute to building Innovations for the Next 3 Billion!
(1) Homi Kharas, The emerging middle class in developing countries, Working Paper No. 285, OECD Development Centre, January 2010.