Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223259
Title: INCENTIVE STRATEGIES OF CLEAN TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID
Authors: CHONG CHIEN YEE
Keywords: Environmental Management
MEM
Master (Environmental Management)
2017/2018 EnvM
Audrey Chia
Issue Date: 8-Mar-2019
Citation: CHONG CHIEN YEE (2019-03-08). INCENTIVE STRATEGIES OF CLEAN TECHNOLOGY SOCIAL ENTERPRISES AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Clean technology at the bottom of the pyramid can save lives, improve lives and save the environment. When it comes to the rural poor, technology is often not about wants. Instead it can serve up clean drinking water, enable studying or running a business at night by solar lighting, reduce pollution impacts from waste and even convert that waste to a useable product. This thesis investigates the role of the under-studied ‘agent of change’ – the social enterprise, and the strategies they use to navigate the complexities at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP), in catalysing provision of these necessary goods. To discover how the social enterprise (SE), defined in this thesis as ‘self-sustainable social enterprise’, survives and thrives in resource-challenged SE environments, as well as in view of the research gap, this work extends the resource dependency theory and applies it to analyse the business models of clean technology enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid. The hypothesis that SEs apply innovative incentives strategies is tested and validated. The analyses generate strategic insights that may be further validated by empirical research , and applied for aspiring social entrepreneurs or organizations in the quest to ‘do well by doing good’ (people, planet, profit): • Clean technology products and services for, to or with the BOP market must be needs-based instead of standardized products or services. Further, these needs may be further understood and the business model or offering refined – down to ‘customized needs’ or ‘needs depending on season or other cycles’ relevant to the BOP. This supports the SEs in gaining acceptance, makes their product or service truly relevant with social impact and thus more scalable and credible to potential partners aligned with their mission • Pressure to scale and replicate initial success may shift the SE’s focus away from prioritizing social and environmental impact versus profit margins. In a wider study, research should focus on what are the variables and dependencies that affect a SE’s relative focus – especially if it is defined as joint pursuit of economic, social and environmental goals? What factors and at what stages do these come into focus? What policies or actions need to be taken to enable SEs to continue to ‘do good and do well’? • To engage BOP markets, it is necessary to embed the SE within the communities and create multiple linkages for mutual value creation – from providing training, employment to entrepreneurship activities • Emphasis on systemic behavior change orientation, involving social marketing to earn trust and acceptance at the BOP • Importance of delivery and support channels having brick and mortar set-up, local community engagement hub and spokes model as these positively affect the SEs’ relationships with BOP communities • To transact with BOP markets, it is necessary for the SE to solve their issue of ability to pay, including large and dependable financial institutions as partners.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/223259
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