TOC: Enterprise Subsistence Marketplaces


Bottom-Up Enterprise: Insights from Subsistence Marketplaces, A book by Madhu Viswanathan

Bottom-Up Enterprise: Insights from Subsistence Marketplaces.

Table of Contents

Cover Images
Audience for This Book
Foreword by Raj Echambadi

Part I: Understanding and Designing Solutions for Subsistence Marketplaces
Chapter 1: Life in Subsistence Marketplaces
Chapter 2: Marketplace Perspectives
Chapter 3: The Bottom-Up Approach
Chapter 4: Understanding Subsistence Marketplaces
Chapter 5: Designing Bottom-Up Solutions

Part II: Lessons Learned
Chapter 6: Charting a Bottom-Up Journey
Chapter 7: Implementing Bottom-Up Enterprises
Chapter 8: Sustaining Bottom-Up Enterprises
Chapter 9: Guiding Values
Chapter 10: The Essence of the Bottom-Up Approach

Part III: Applying the Lessons Learned
Chapter 11: Applying the Bottom-Up Approach in Non-Subsistence Contexts
Chapter 12: Applying the Bottom-Up Approach in Higher Education
Chapter 13: Observations from Co-Passengers in the Bottom-Up Journey
Chapter 14: A Newcomer’s Perspective of the Bottom-Up Approach

About the Author

Where to find it (eBook price approx. $8)

Book website –
Google Books
Hard copy ($12) – email

Other relevant websites for the Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative

Website –

eBook – Subsistence Marketplaces –

Web portal for educational materials (interviews from subsistence marketplaces, immersion exercises, videos, project reports, prototypes, poverty simulation, ideas for assignments, modules and courses) – (User consent page for web portal providing passwords where needed –

Poverty simulation –

Marketplace literacy non-profit website –

Subsistence Marketplaces Discussion on Facebook –

Dear colleagues,

We are delighted to communicate the release of an eBook, Bottom-Up Enterprise: Insights from Subsistence Marketplaces. Following up on Subsistence Marketplaces, the eBook released a few years ago that focused on understanding and designing solutions for subsistence marketplaces, this book focuses on bottom-up innovation, management, and leadership.

This book is designed for two primary audiences – those interested in working in subsistence marketplaces, as well as those interested in applying the lessons learned (in such extreme contexts) to their own contexts, such as in advanced economies or in higher-income segments of developing economies. We aim to reach a diverse audience including practitioners in business, government, and social sectors; and researchers, educators, and students. We develop the notion of bottom-up enterprises learned through practice in extreme (i.e., resource-constrained) settings. Sometimes, the most insightful lessons for all settings come from such discovery.

The book begins with a journey of immersion and reflection in the first part, followed by explicit discussions of lessons learned in the second section. In the third and last part, we broaden the dialogue to include bottom–up applications to a variety of settings and operations. Even for those not working in subsistence marketplaces, there is significant value in understanding the implications of these bottom-up approaches to their own efforts. We illustrate a number of situations where our approaches have had impact in other domains.

Finally, our sequencing here is bottom-up as well, beginning with a deep understanding of subsistence marketplaces, followed by the design of solutions and enterprise plans for them. After this, the discussion turns to lessons in running a bottom-up enterprise before moving on to the application of these lessons in a variety of contexts.

There is an irony is writing a book about being bottom-up. The very act of writing about it is, in a sense, top-down. And so goes the dance between the bottom-up and the top-down that is detailed in this journey.


Madhu Viswanathan

Diane and Steven N. Miller Centennial Chair in Business

183 Wohlers Hall, 1206 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Phone: 217-333-4550; Fax: 217-244-7969; email:

Homepage: Subsistence Marketplaces Initiative:

Non-profit website: