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Press Release: The Business Solution to Poverty by Paul Polak & Mal Warwick

The Business Solution to Poverty:
Designing Products and Services for Three Billion New Customers

By Paul Polak and Mal Warwick

“One of the most hopeful propositions to come along in a long time. Paul Polak and Mal Warwick’s approach is original, ambitious, and practical-and it just may be the key to reducing the number of people in poverty on a very large scale. They propose to harness the power of free enterprise to begin meeting the most basic needs of the poor . . . while making a profit. Though market-based approaches aren’t new, Polak and Warwick lay out a practical and systematic way to work on a global scale, transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of poor people.”

-President Bill Clinton

Nearly three billion people live on $2 a day, and they’re not just the world’s greatest challenge-they represent an extraordinary market opportunity. The key is what Paul Polak and Mal Warwick call Zero-Based Design: starting from scratch to create innovative products and services tailored for the very poor, armed with a thorough understanding of what they really need and fueled by what Polak and Warwick coin “the ruthless pursuit of affordability.”

Polak has been doing this work for years, and Warwick has extensive experience in both business and philanthropy. Together, they show how their design principles and vision can enable unapologetic capitalists to supply the very poor with clean drinking water, electricity, irrigation, housing, education, health care, and other necessities at a fraction of the usual cost and at profit margins comparable to those of businesses in first-world nations.

Promising governmental and philanthropic efforts to end poverty have not reached scale because they lack market incentives to attract massive resources. This book opens an extraordinary opportunity for nimble entrepreneurs, investors, and corporate executives that will not only create vibrant, growing businesses, but also better lives for the world’s poorest people.

About the Authors

Paul Polak is founder and CEO of Windhorse International, a for-profit social venture to provide safe drinking water and the latest of three organizations he has founded. He is the winner of numerous awards, including being named one of the Atlantic’s twenty-seven “Brave Thinkers” in 2009.

Mal Warwick is founder and chairman of Mal Warwick and Associates, a direct-marketing fund-raising firm for nonprofits and progressive political candidates. He is one of four partners in the One World Futbol Project and was formerly chairman of the Social Venture Network.

Publication date: September 2013, $27.95, hardcover, 264 pages, 6â…›" x 9 ¼", ISBN 978-1-60994-0775