Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid

Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid

Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid

Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid
Innovation for the Base of the Pyramid

As Carola Schwank outlined in our last blog posting, technology plays a major role in overcoming basic supply problems. Some people might wonder why the “empowering people. Award” focuses on low-end solutions in this context. How can simple and low-cost technologies tackle the most pressing problems in the developing world?

It is a fair question, but there are good reasons why David can beat Goliath. Our reports on how to bring decent housing to poor communities
(Moladi) or how to simplify agricultural tasks (GCS) by using simple and, at the same time, genius technologies, proves that small is beautiful! It was Dr. Ernst Friedrich Schumacher who coined this term. The economist and philosopher wanted to stress that small-scale technologies are the ones needed in the fight against poverty. These solutions have great advantages: they can be implemented with local resources and skills and they are affordable – which makes them tools that empower people to help themselves.
The impact of appropriate technology becomes particularly noticeable when innovative solutions are used and promoted by social entrepreneurs who put social impact at the heart of their business. The combination of low-cost technology and social entrepreneurship can have far-reaching implications for thousands of lives. Creating jobs, stimulating ownership confidence and the spirit of innovation – this is what social businesses are looking for.
Appropriate technical solutions improve life quality and can give the initial push for development

moladi - Affordable Housing Solution

Decent housing is one of the key factors in the fight against poverty and social exclusion. It is not just about putting a roof over someone’s head. Academic research proves that access to a clean and stable home implicates an improvement in security, health and education.Moladi, a South African based company established in 1986, makes housing accessible to low-income people through innovative and eco-friendly technology

The Moladi system consists of a reusable and recyclable plastic formwork mould, which is filled with stone-less concrete and a special chemical additive. This additive ensures that, once the mortar is set, the framework can be removed – and reused up to 50 times. According to the founder Hennie Botes, the brickless walls can withstand all types of weather. The formwork is lightweight allowing easy transportation. Due to the simplicity in design and the repetitive application scheme, construction costs can be reduced significantly. The Moladi model is not only cost-effective but fast, to: Botes comments that the wall structure of a house can be completed within one day. A further plus point, especially in remote areas, is that the construction does not require heavy machinery or electricity.

Moladi combines construction with economic development. The company offers training locally for the unemployed thereby creating jobs and empowering the community as a whole. Due to the simplicity of the approach, construction techniques and skills can be transferred in a short time. In this way, the communities benefit from affordable shelter and skilled entrepreneurs (in the area of low-cost housing) at the same time. Moladi’s success in over 20 countries shows that affordable housing is an important key in finding solutions to promoting security and alleviating poverty. – Read more

Siemens EmpoweringPeople.Award - Dr. Ernst Friedrich Small is Beautiful”
FSG - Discovering better ways to solve social problems – Creating Shared Value "To Build or Not to Build?" - That Is the Question
Forbes India on moladi Technological Innovation - Creating Shared Value
Financial Mail – Affordable Housing – Better ways to build
For more information visit moladi
Click to view the construction process -
With the motto “Train the unemployed to build for the homeless

Tags: - Base of the Pyramid, BoP, corporate social investment, formwork technology, Innovation, Invention, low cost housing, moladi, shelter, social business, plastic formwork, innovation for the base of the pyramid

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