Platform-based business model and entrepreneurs from Base of the Pyramid

Xiaolan Fu, Pervez N Ghauri, Nwamaka Ogbonna, Xiaoqiang Xing

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Technological progress and the rise of short video platforms have created new possibilities for the marginalized communities. This paper explores how such platform-based business model innovation can foster entrepreneurship from the base of the pyramid (BOP) and include poor people into value creation activities by sharing their skills, experiences and their normal farming and life activities. Through an in-depth case study of a successful platform which has hundreds of millions of active users from the BOP, we developed a content-based new inclusive digital business model for grassroot entrepreneurs; and identified the mechanisms that makes such a platform fair and inclusive for the poor. The paper analysed its impact on income creation, capabilities development, and social capital development at the BOP, as well as its impact on the growth of BOP entrepreneurs, and the enabling factors that are essential for the scale-up and success of such a business model. Policy implications are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102451
Early online date5 Jan 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful to Torbjorn Fredriksson, Sinuo Chen, Xiaorang Zhang, Zhu Zhang, Sonia Kabir, and participants at the Academy of International Business annual conference, IDMODEL project conference at the University of Oxford , 4th Sino-UK Innovation and Development Forum, and SBS-TMCD joint workshop participants at the University of Oxford for helpful comments, to Kuaishou Technology Ltd. for access for fieldwork interview, and to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for financial support (no. ES/S001336/1 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Base of pyramid
  • Business model innovation
  • Inclusive development
  • Platform technology
  • Poverty reduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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