Unravelling inclusive business models for achieving food and nutrition security in BOP markets

Myrtille Danse, Laurens Klerkx*, Jorrit Reintjes, Rudy Rabbinge, Cees Leeuwis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing consensus that one of the key priorities to address food and nutrition security is to aim at the transformation of agriculture and food systems. The private sector can fulfil an important role in this. It is often argued that the success at low income markets (denoted here as Bottom of the Pyramid - BOP) requires innovative and inclusive business models. However, research findings on this have been quite descriptive and generic. The literature on private sector engagement and food and nutrition security has a strong focus on the participation of businesses in the value chain and the food system, but does generally not unravel the specific characteristics of the inclusive business model itself. This article aims to contribute to an improved understanding with regard to inclusive business model characteristics of private sector interventions aiming at food and nutrition security improvements, by scrutinizing 16 cases from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The study focuses on the internal fitness of the strategic business model by analysing the foundation level components of the inclusive business model. Important findings are the relevance of quality of product or service besides its affordability, marketing and distribution strategies to link the different actors in the value chain, and training as well as coalition building to overcome institutional and cultural gaps and increase the success of the inclusive business model for improved nutrition and food security. An important conclusion is that the business model and business ecosystem of BOP markets is crucial. Also, the findings indicate a need for intermediaries to overcome cultural and institutional gaps in implementing inclusive business models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100354
JournalGlobal Food Security
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP)
  • Business models
  • Cross-sector partnerships
  • Food and nutrition security
  • Inclusive business
  • Private sector


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