Category Archives: Collection

2017 is the Year Mobile Service Operators Became Banks

South African business headlines read MTN takes on Vodacom for title of Africa’s biggest digital bank and usher in a whole new era for banking and finance on the mobile platform. Having watched this space impatiently for more than a decade, seeing this was a landmark worth noting. The number of mobile-money customers in the […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, ASEAN, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Design, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work in Progress: An Introduction to the Informal Economy’s Commercial Environment

This topic is being shared in the form of a collection of essays on the following themes, each becoming hyperlinked on completion. Do bookmark this page for regular updates. Introduction to Background and Context, some caveats apply Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity Rural household financial management as a foundation Linkages and Networks span […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, global, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Livestock as movable assets and financial collateral: Collected insights

Following in the footsteps of Zimbabwe, Kenya has just passed a law on the use of movable assets as collateral for loans. President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed into law a Bill allowing borrowers to use household goods, crops, live animals and even intellectual property to secure commercial loans in a move aimed at boosting access […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Cashless transactions, Cattle, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Livestock, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Sub Saharan Africa, Tanzania, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over […]

Also posted in About, Airtime, Analysis, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 5 African Trending Topics in 2015

Every day I scan the African business news, and share selected articles on Twitter and Tumblr. Fascinating hobby aside, it gives me a finger on the pulse of stories swirling around the infowebs. On the last day of the calender year, it’s de rigeur to sit oneself down and attempt to cluster these swirling motes […]

Also posted in Africa, Emerging Markets, Monthly Insights, Perspective, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Emerging Futures: Opportunities in Digital Africa

In January 2011, my friend Dirk Knemeyer, Founder of Involution Studios, an internationally reknowned app design studio, suggested I write a series of articles on the imminent opportunities in technology and design emerging across the African continent. That first article in the series “Opportunities in Digital Africa” was published on 22nd February 2011. Below, I’ll […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Innovation Planning, Technology | Leave a comment

Reflecting on this blog’s genesis after 5 years

I started this blog in late December 2008, in earnest and every day during the first prototype fieldwork for The Prepaid Economy project, one of the iBoP Asia Project’s first batch of Small Grant winners from the ASEAN region. For the first 5 months of 2009, this blog was on the mainpage of my website […]

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Lessons from working with Social Enterprises

Aisle Manager at Nakumatt By the end of my most recent project, I was convinced that the label “Bottom of the Pyramid” (or Base of the Pyramid) also known as “the BoP” was one of the biggest barriers for organizations seeking to serve these emerging consumer markets in the informal economies of the developing world. […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Women Together: Incentivising Savings

Mahila Milan means “women together” and provides a decentralised vehicle for the empowerment of women via leadership roles and advocacy alongside its pivotal daily savings collection.

Also posted in Banking, India, Informal & Flexible, Loans, Research, Savings, urban | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

iBoP Asia’s Frontiers: Charting the future of S&T innovation for the poor in Southeast Asia

A bicycle-powered paper shredder that can be used to make environment-friendly charcoal. A new way of processing waste cooking oil that turns it into cheap fuel for vehicles. A web-based system that allows small-scale fishers to access marine data using mobile phones. These are just some of the promising devices that will be showcased, along […]

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