Since I was a kid I’ve watched my Mom deftly scrape out every morsel of a peanut butter jar before throwing it out. She did her best to not waste a thing.
I can’t say what caused my Mom to save so ardently, but the example left a lasting impression on me. There is value to every last bit.
Social entrepreneurs should take the moral of the bottom of the jar story to heart. They call it the Bottom of the Pyramid because social entrepreneurs are taking the bold step to scrape at the bottom of the capitalistic money jar. Metaphor aside, the need to save everything is necessary to run successful social businesses in BoP countries.
Generally, the biggest challenge for social entrepreneurs is meeting a market viable price point without losing money on every transaction. Therefore, being lean and efficient can be the difference between having the desired impact and falling short.
Last year whilst in Pakistan, I worked with Jawad Aslam, who showed me the power of implementing the peanut butter jar philosophy in a business sense. Over the course of the year I observed how talented Jawad is at finding unique ways to save money, from creative negotiations to clever workarounds to expensive costs.
Social entrepreneurs: savor all of what you can squeeze out of every source of value.