Evaluating ways to scale market-based solutions to poverty
This paper takes a close look at the challenge of scaling. It tries to understand why more market-based solution models are not scaling, the barriers they face, where market-based solutions have achieved scale, and how this has been achieved. The paper identifies four barriers for scaling: firm, value chain, public goods, and government. It studies the interplay of firms and facilitators, through a range of historical and current case studies drawn from both Asia and Africa, across the energy, health, agribusiness, and financial services sectors. The paper makes the following recommendations:
Foundations, aid donors, mission-driven intermediaries, and multilateral development agencies should engage in or fund industry facilitation to address key scaling barriers for market-based solutions;
Impact investors should integrate a perspective on ecosystem scaling barriers, and engage with industry facilitators that may be in a position to help resolve key scaling barriers;
Governments should consider roles in industry facilitation, but be careful only to intervene directly where they are better placed to do so than others, and allow enough legal and regulatory freedom for new innovations to emerge;
Companies should develop a complete perspective of both internal and ecosystem scaling barriers, and engage with industry facilitators and stakeholders to help resolve key scaling barriers.