"A grassroots approach to emerging-market consumers" is a very interesting article from the new issue of the McKinsey Quartlerly. It talks about the corporate benefits to the private sector when they get involved in microfinance and other grassroots efforts.
When companies figure out how to serve low-income consumers in developing countries profitably, everyone wins: the disadvantaged gain access to products and services that the private sector is best positioned to deliver, while companies tap into vast new markets. On top of that, when core sectors of the economy—such as banking, electricity, telecommunications, and water—thrive, they transform consumers into producers and promote economic development.
But what I thought was especially interesting was the way that these macro companies are learning new market strategies by paying attention to the dynamics of microfinance. They are using mechanisms such as the peer pressure of group lending to resolve payment issues regarding public services and even public safely.