Research Summary


by Michael Chu


Chu's research is focused on business and low income sectors, particularly in the use of commercial platforms to deliver what has traditionally been considered public responsibilities. In the last three decades, business models have emerged to meet the severely underserved needs of the lowest 3 income quintiles of the world, often comprising the lowest 7 income deciles of emerging markets. This encompasses impact investing: the application of investment practices to deliver interventions of high social impact while seeking to provide financial returns to the providers of capital. Chu is interested in identifying the key factors behind the success (and failure) of business models focused on low-income sectors and the conditions under which they create (or destroy) financial returns and social value, and in the relationship between the two.

Keywords: impact investing; Microfinance; base of the pyramid; role of profit and social impact; private sector development; emerging markets; Business Ventures; Health Care and Treatment; Management; Social Enterprise; Strategy; Financial Services Industry; Banking Industry; Health Industry; Latin America; North and Central America; Asia; Africa;