The Opportunities for the Majority Initiative at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is hosting a client workshop, “Reaching Scale Through Distribution Platforms,” at the IDB headquarters in Washington DC on Thursday, May 31. The workshop will present three cases of innovative business models that are successfully serving base-of-the-pyramid markets in Latin America and the Caribbean and that have also achieved scale by leveraging preexisting distribution channels.
Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) is a mechanism within the IDB that provides medium- and long-term loans, partial credit guarantees, risk sharing facilities, and technical capacity grants to businesses that serve the poor, whether by creating jobs, bringing them into the formal economy or helping consumers at the base of the pyramid gain access to quality goods and services. OMJ defines the "majority" or "base of the pyramid" as the 360 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean (70 percent of the population) living on monthly incomes of less than $300. OMJ’s work represents part of a larger trend of “impact investing”—investing for social or environmental return in addition to financial profit—that is increasingly being used as a tool for development in emerging markets.