“It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”- Adam Smith – The Wealth of Nations
I-Dev was founded on the fundamental concepts of market-based development and collaborative capitalism. We believe that big businesses serve their own best interests, and that of their shareholders, by working with and engaging the billions at the base of the pyramid, as customers, suppliers, and partners.
The concept of collaborative capitalism have been ingrained in I-DEV’s core beliefs:
Corporate Social Responsibility (“CSR”) Should be Profitable
Charity, at any level, is not sustainable, and poverty will never be solved as a moral issue, by tugging at people’s heart stings. To be truly sustainable, development initiatives must make sound business sense, i.e. either generate income or reduce expenses for the corporation.
Development Spending Should be Viewed as an Investment
Business owners and initial investors seek to limit the amount of outside investment they receive because of dilution. This aversion to dilution, in turn, forces the businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively. In much the same vein, development projects should be designed to achieve full sustainability without the need to repeatedly seek follow-on financing. In essence, corporations, NGOs and development organizations should design and finance projects that can achieve sustainability within a determinable time period and with limited capital injections. They should build in their own exit strategies.
Compensation Should be Linked to Performance
Throughout all phases of the development process, from financing to farming, compensation should be directly tied to performance, results and impact. Accurately and effectively using incentives to manage people is as critical to successful business management as it is to successful development.