Subsistence Marketplaces eBook Only

Item: ISBN: 978-0-9897819-4-7 a

Author: Madhubalan Viswanathan

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Spaces Remaining (1)

In this book, through an immersive and interactive experience, we aim to: 

  • Provide you a fundamental understanding of subsistence marketplaces.
  • Offer a sense of how solutions can be designed for these marketplaces.
  • Explore how these solutions work for different entities. 

We created this material for multiple audiences—students, educators, managers, and policy makers—and we intend it as a starting point rather than a culmination of learning about subsistence marketplaces. You’ll find rich sets of materials to explore along the way through our web portal, including very comprehensive reports of yearlong projects that serve as intensive case studies, videos produced to provide insights about subsistence marketplaces, and immersion exercises to understand needs and generation ideas for solutions. We use the term subsistence to cover the broad range of low income, covering individuals who are barely making ends meet. Our perspective is bottom-up, beginning with a nuanced, micro-level understanding of behaviors and contexts. This contrasts with relatively macro-level approaches, such as macro-economic perspectives that examine country- and region-level trends or meso-level business strategy approaches, such as the bottom of the pyramid perspective, which examine issues of business strategy of organizations working in these contexts. Instead, we adopt a micro-level approach and begin with life circumstances at the individual and community level, with a particular focus on marketplace interactions. From this micro-level understanding, we stitch together aggregate-level insights about designing solutions, such as developing products or designing enterprises. Our work on subsistence marketplaces over the course of many years has created unique synergies between research, teaching, and social initiatives. In all three arenas, our work involves engagement of students, businesses, and social enterprises as well as a diverse set of faculty and campus entities across different disciplines. The material presented in this book draws on this rich set of experiences.