Catalyst for Change
Young Enterprise Solutions for China's Bottom of the Pyramid (YESxBOP) challenges young people ages 18-30 from around the world to develop innovative businesses that address low-income communities in China as consumers, producers, or partners.
Run by Junior Achievement China through the support of the John Templeton Foundation, YESxBOP gives students an opportunity to change the lives of millions through business.
Junior Achievement China
Since its founding in 1993, Junior Achievement China (JA) has worked to develop the character, creativity, and leadership in Chinese youth by building strong partnerships between the business and education worlds. To date, 3,779,716 students have participated in JA programs in over 20 cities across China.
John Templeton Foundation
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality. The Foundation supports unique research on a variety of scientific and philosophical fields.
To learn more, click here.
"BOP" stands for "Bottom of the Pyramid"—the socio-economic pyramid. People living on less than $3,000 per year are included in this group—and make up two thirds of the world’s population! Despite low individual income, they together represent a $5 trillion global market.
To learn more about this unique market, and how you can develop a business that helps this group achieve a higher standard of living while making a profit, click here.
"If we can spend the early decades of the 21st century finding approaches that meet the needs of the poor in ways that generate profits and recognition for business, we will have found a sustainable way to reduce poverty in the world."
Co-founder and chairman of Microsoft, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
"Many of those in the BOP, and perhaps most, pay higher prices for basic goods and services than do wealthier consumers – either in cash or in the effort they must expand to obtain them – and they often receive lower quality as well."
-The Next 4 Billion. World Resources Institute.
"In China’s context, BoP refers to low-income people and disadvantaged groups, including rural villagers with a below-average living standard, the vast population of migrant workers and their children, and the so-called "ant citizens," whose salary barely covers the costs of the reaching a basic living standard in urban areas. By this definition, China's BoP should stand at a minimum of 400 million based on our rough estimation."
–Tao Zhang, China Impact Fund
Economists, scholars, and businesspeople continue to debate over the specific definition of the BOP. YESxBOP recognizes that it is not just a low level of income that defines the BOP. Rather, the YESxBOP program defines members of China’s BOP as any person living on less than $3,000 annually in local purchasing power parity or who faces significant obstacles in accessing the benefits and resources of the formal economic system. This definition is a synthesis of ideas presented in the definitive report published by the World Bank, "The Next 4 Billion." Find a link and more related information inside the YESxBOP Library.
Check out the YESxBOP Interviews and Case Studies to learn about entrepreneurs, scholars, and investors in China.
Shokay, "Style with a touch of humanity," generates income for many BOP communities at the local level by involving BOP members as producers at every step on the supply chain. Their training, as well as corporate giving structure, further provides community development and empowerment.
April and May, 2013
YESxBOP Lab events will bring cutting-edge workshops in ideation, prototyping, and start-up development to interested youth across China. In Spring, Lab events will focus both on helping you brainstorm innovative ideas to benefit the BOP as well as helping you connect with like-minded peers to work together to create enterprise solutions for China's BOP. Check the Activity Center for more details on YESxBOP Lab events in April.
Preliminary Round Deadline for
June 21, 2013
All interested students are encouraged to develop their ideas for innovative products or business models into a simple business plan (template available in April) and then submit the paper online. A panel of experts will review submissions and select up to 20 finalist teams to travel to Beijing and participate in the YESxBOP Business Plan Competition Final Round.
July 26-28, 2013
The Final Competition is comprised of two phases: the YESxBOP Trade Fair and the YESxBOP Business Plan Presentation. The trade fair provides an opportunity for each team to display their product or business idea to experts, their peers, and all interested parties in an informal environment. During the second phase, each team will present their full business plan before a panel of industry experts, entrepreneurs, and investors. Final decisions will be made based on the feedback of expert judges from both phases. Ultimately up to 10 teams will be named YESxBOP Champions. Each YES Champion team will receive 10,000 RMB in seed money, as well as an individualized incubation and mentorship plan for the following year.
Fall 2013-Spring 2014
Following the YESxBOP Business Plan Competition, up to 10 champion teams will receive seed money as well as an individualized plan for start-up incubation and mentorship. As a participant in YESxBOP Incubation, you can look forward to:
- Mentors drawn from the full strength of JA China’s Board of and over 8,000-strong business volunteer network;
- Participation in business leadership training institutes and programs;
- Membership to the YES Alumni Network;
- Workshops and other capacity-development support designed by JA China and partners;
- Introductions to high-level impact investors and venture capital funds.