IC Net’s Business Plan Contest for Four Billion People

The four billion people at the base of the economic pyramid (BoP) with annual incomes below $3,000 in local purchasing power live in relative poverty.  In these places, infants die in their first year of birth.  People cannot rely on their crops due to poor soil conditions. Yet together they have substantial purchasing power: the BoP constitutes a $5 trillion global consumer market.  In order to unleash their economic potential, IC Net is holding a contest for people with an idea for a new business or expanding an existing business in the BoP.

More than 160 applicants for the Business Plan Contest submitted their business concept statement on November 10, 2013.  The statement included a product/service description, customer definition, market opportunity and sales strategy.

After the first round of judging that included a business pitch, on December 14, the eight candidates selected had a lively discussion about improving their business plan reviewed by Mr. Akira Ishibashi of Kroto Partners, who serves as one of the mentors in this business contest.

applicants must submit a full business plan by January 10, 2014 and provide a final presenatation to a IC Net’s panel of international economic development professionals, entrepreneurs and investors on January18 in Tokyo.  Currently there are eight proposals selected for the final presentation.

The winner will receive up to or 500,000 yen, or about $5,000 to put toward the idea. The two second-place and three third-place candidates will receive 150,000 yen or about $1,500 and 50,000 yen or about $500 respectively.