Despite significant progress in poverty alleviation in past decades, income inequality remains an important challenge. Worldwide, there are 4.5 billion people living at the base of the pyramid (BOP), surviving on low incomes and lacking access to goods, services, and economic opportunities. Workers at the base of the pyramid are often engaged in the informal sector or in low-skill jobs with limited earning potential.
Companies and investors have a critical role in expanding access to better livelihoods for workers at the base of the pyramid. This can be achieved by adopting inclusive employment practices that enhance the participation, advancement, resilience, and empowerment of these workers.
The benefits to business are clear. They include improved private sector access to labor and human capital, sustainable and resilient supply chains, access to new markets and investors, and stronger brand image and risk management.
IFC, in partnership with the Government of Japan, developed Inclusive Employment: Advancing Economic Opportunities for the Base of the Pyramid. This report provides the business case for expanding employment at the base of the pyramid and highlights emerging good practices that companies and investors can adopt. It is based on evidence gathered from thought leader interviews and in-depth case studies of 13 companies.