Category Archives: Mama Biashara

Kenya’s informal economy clambering on to the information highway through their smartphones

Sometimes cliches are the only way to communicate the sheer breadth and depth of the transformation now undergoing in the informal sectors, such as trade and light manufacturing, thanks to affordable smartphones and data bundles. I began calling it digital and not online yesterday when we discovered many people didn’t recognize the word “online” in […]

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Africa’s Delivery On Demand Apps are Transforming the Informal Economy

When women in rural Rwanda can buy sanitary napkins and contraceptives, on demand, simply by pushing a few buttons on their phones, you know the digital informal economy is here to stay. And, its not just imported apps and social enterprises pushing this digital commercial activity. The “uberization” of the African informal economy is well […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Distribution, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, Value | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rural Household Financial Management on Irregular Incomes

While all farms are not alike, and scale and variety and geography differs, the pattern of household financial management holds its fundamental logic across continents. As we saw previously, an experienced farmer tends to fall somewhere in between a salaried employee and an odd job labourer in their ability to predict with any reasonable degree […]

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Competitive Advantage & Customer Relationships: Lessons from Market Mummies of Ghana

How would you differentiate yourself in this informal retail market? Ghanaian market research guru Gerry van Dyke took a closer look at the market ‘mummies’ – Mama Biashara, as we call her – and their consumer marketing techniques in the “non-label environment”. His findings form an excellent foundation for understanding marketing and customer relationships in […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Ghana, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi, […]

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Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing […]

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Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Expenses, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Women’s Entrepreneurship Driving Emerging Future in Africa

We’ve been silent of late on this blog due to work deadlines and end of the year paperwork, however this will change. I’ve promised to write one blog post every day – even if its a few lines – for the next 30 days. I realized it was habit and discipline that was missing, not […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Afrique francophone, Business, Compétitivité, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Fashionomics, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marchés africains, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TEDTalk video: Recognizing the value creation and economic contribution of the informal economy

My talk given at the TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, this August, went live on Ted.com at some point during the night a couple of days ago. At that very moment, I was on a Finnair flight from SIN to HEL, so with a wee bit of delay, here’s the link to the video of the […]

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Time to acknowledge the social cost of mobile and apps driven disruption

From Lagos, Nigeria comes this moving human interest story that looks at the downside of modern technology and it’s impact on livelihoods. For those who must hustle to make a living, send the kids to school, or put food on the table, smartphone driven digitization of the services they used to provide are disrupting their […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Airtime, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Commerce en ligne (e-commerce), Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Ecosystem, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Nigeria, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Technologie, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment