Corporate Citizenship and Chocolate: A Bitter or Sweet Aftertaste?

Unlocking Social Value at the BoP:
Building a Knowledge Transfer
Platform for Nigerian Apiculturists
Toluwalope Abudiiore & Dr Morven McEachern,
Centre for Social Business, University of Salford, UK
• Increasing significance
of the bottom of the
pyramid (BOP) markets
• Majority of studies
provide expertise and
knowledge for
companies that operate
outside the BOP
• 60% of the Nigerian
population live on less
than $1-2 per capita
Apiculture is also known as
beekeeping and/or the art of
rearing bees
Beekeeping requires less
capital to engage in and
produces valuable products for
the international market
Potential for generating
employment for a large number
of people
Coincides with a decline in
global honey production
Research Objectives
To explore the nuances
around Nigerian apicultural
production practices
To identify if potential
knowledge transfer
opportunities exist for BOP
social entrepreneurs
To understand if and how
networks can successfully
impact stakeholders and
unlock social value
Framework (1)
Social business is an innovative
approach geared towards the
provision of goods, as well as
capital and technology to help
create social value
Yunus, 2011
Social value creation culminates
in the realisation of 3 values of
development i.e. sustenance,
self-esteem and liberation from
Todero & Smith, 2011
Framework (2)
• Agricultural information is typically
characterized by out of date and
inappropriate information
– Shalendra et al., 2011
• Nigeria has the highest number of
mobile phone subscriptions in
– Agwu & Carter, 2014
• Significant value exists in
determining the networking role of
mobile technology in bridging the
knowledge transfer gap
• Interpretivist approach
• Exploratory semi-structured, in-depth
interviews (n=15)/postal surveys (n=16)
• Sampling
• ‘Snowball’ sampling of beekeepers in Ogun
State, Nigeria
• Analysis
Thematic analysis
Sample Profile
Participant farmers were
primarily male, had varying
levels of education and
originated from contrasting
types of locality
Most participants had kept
bees for about a decade
Most participants had their
apiary sites on
gardens, with others having
their colonies sited in forests
or their backyard
Techniques (1)
• Most participants relied on
traditional production techniques
• Beeswax and propolis were
additional by-products but most
just harvested honey
Techniques (2)
• Preferred methods of honey
extraction was either by smoking
the hives and squeezing the
honey with bare hands or
extracting the honey from the
hives by grinding the combs and
Making a Living
• Nearly all participants
derived a basic income
from beekeeping
• Most participants were
considering ways of
scaling-up their
• Networking and enterprise
support was generally informal
• Most participants obtained
information from books and
• Most participants were receptive
about the use of mobile apps as
a source of information
• Of those who already used their
mobile phone for browsing, many
complained that it was neither
relevant to their terrain and/or
their situation
Need to modernise practices in all
stages of the production processes
Improve access to geographicallyspecific information
Opportunity to utilise mobile
technology to achieve both
To unlock social value via the
operationalization of small-scale
apiculture, greater integration and
social cooperation with upstream
partners is called for
Any questions?