BoP Basic Services Track

Impact investors have the potential to create meaningful impact on the lives of the underserved by financing affordable and effective basic services in developing countries.

The BoP Basic Services Track supports the critical work of impact investors active or interested in financing access to basic services for underserved populations in developing countries.

Overview

People living at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid (BoP) in developing countries often have limited or no access to basic services such as healthcare, education, clean energy, water, and sanitation. This results in poorer health, lower incomes, and reduced economic and social prosperity for those underserved by existing systems. As demand for quality, affordable, and appropriate BoP basic services continues to grow, impact investors play an increasingly important role in providing capital and market solutions to fill the gap in provision.

To help realize the full potential of impact investments in basic services, the GIIN manages the BoP Basic Services Track to offer members active or interested in this area dedicated opportunities to exchange learnings, tackle shared challenges, and collaborate on emerging opportunities.

Key Objectives and Activities

Supported by a grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Track aims to enhance the performance and impact of investments in BoP basic services by:

  • Creating a community of investors with shared interest in basic services in emerging markets. Participants can more regularly interact with peers and tap into a powerful network of like-minded practitioners around specific issues or opportunities.
  • Facilitating collaboration across GIIN Membership (Investors’ Council and Network members). Participants can collaborate to share knowledge and expertise to fill information gaps and refine thinking around approaches to investment and impact measurement.
  • Facilitating deployment of new capital into investments benefitting BoP populations. Members participating in the Track can benefit from reduced search and transaction costs and a better understanding of business models, investment strategies and structures, and BoP markets.

The BoP Basic Services Track offers Investors’ Council and Network members a range of activities, including webinars, roundtables, and special projects.

Focus Areas

The BoP Basic Services Track focuses on South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but will also incorporate perspectives from other developing regions to enrich dialogues and contribute to cross-regional learning. In addition, several key themes relevant to impact investors will drive the Track’s activities, including:

  • Hallmarks of successful business models: Examining the success factors and pitfalls of business models providing access to basic services for the BoP, including cross-subsidization models, consumer finance models, and distribution platforms.
  • Best practices in investment strategies, processes, and structures: Sharing learnings in key areas of the investment process – such as due diligence, deal structure, or provision of technical assistance – and codifying best practices in investment strategies, structures, and processes.
  • Approaches to defining and measuring impact in basic services sectors: Identifying metrics, methodologies, and assumptions used by investors to measure impact, while discussing challenges and limitations they face.
  • Role of key drivers in the broader ecosystem: Collaborating with impact investors and other relevant stakeholders to deepen understanding and share insights around end users, consumer behavior, and informal BoP markets.

Advisory Committee

An Advisory Committee composed of eight representatives from Investors’ Council members with experience and expertise investing in BoP basic services provides guidance and leadership over the Track. Advisory Committee member organizations include:

Acumen, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CDC Group PLC, Inter-American Development Bank Group, Lok Capital, Omidyar Network, and responsibAbility Investments AG

For more information on taking part in the BoP Basic Services Track, please contact the Membership Team at networkmembership@thegiin.org.