The Entrepreneurship Process in Base of the Pyramid Markets: The Case of Multinational Enterprise/Nongovernment Organization Alliances


Justin W. Webb, tel.: (979) 219-3399; e-mail:, to Geoffrey M. Kistruck at, to R. Duane Ireland at, and to David J. Ketchen, Jr. at


Although base of the pyramid markets are significant sources of entrepreneurial opportunities, the nature of entrepreneurship in these markets is not well understood. Additionally, these markets remain largely underserved by multinational enterprises (MNEs). Given theoretical and practical gaps associated with these issues, we integrate entrepreneurship, institutional, and network theories to discuss how the entrepreneurship process of MNEs is negatively affected in base of the pyramid markets. We then explain how partnerships with nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can offset such negative effects due to NGOs' high degree of localized knowledge, social embeddedness within multiple informal networks, and ambidexterity in dealing with diverse stakeholder groups. Both economic and social benefits can result from such partnerships.