Category Archives: Migrant worker

African Traders in Guangzhou, China: Routes, Profits, and Reasons

While digging around for information after my recent flight where I was offered an upclose and personal look at increasing informal trade between Africa and China, I came across this research paper by Yang Yang from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A snippet from the introduction: Based on my fieldwork in Guangzhou, this paper […]

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Observations: Rural BoP and the cash economy

Investment or Independence?          Photo Credit: Goverdhan Meena Across the board, the particular characteristic that most stood out during my conversations with the rural populace in India and The Philippines, as well as prior experiences elsewhere, was their undeniable pride in their degree of self reliance, and thus, their level of independence from […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Expenses, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Livestock, Philipines, Projects and Reports, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, South Africa, South Asia, User research, Value | Leave a comment

Coming soon: more stories from Malawi

Our friend, John Lumbe, who blogs at Ambitious and has his own Flickrstream,  will be helping the Prepaid Economy project remotely from Malawi. Studying at the Malawi College of Accountancy, John is working his way through school. Expect to hear from him over the next few months, in the meantime, here is a short story […]

Also posted in Africa, Airtime, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Mobile platform, Research, rural, Savings, Sub Saharan Africa, User research, Value | Leave a comment

Boot polish

Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, January 9th 2009 Yes, I've been sitting right here in this very spot for the past 8 or 10 years. Its not bad work really, I average about Rs 200 to Rs 250 per day in earnings. I charge Rs 5 for cleaning these leather shoes of yours, haven't you been […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Expenses, Income, India, Informal & Flexible, Research, urban, User research | Leave a comment

‘Life Is Like A Casino – We Live Each Day As It Comes’: from Zimbabwe

From IPS News comes  a fascinating account of life at the bottom of the pyramid on an irregular and unpredictable income, some key snippets: Long lines of stalls, run by women, have sprung up next to many of Zimbabwe’s highways, selling honey, milk, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions and chickens. As prices in towns skyrocket due to […]

Also posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Research, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research, Value | Leave a comment

Migrating back to the village

Master craftsman, Dasktkar Ranthambhore, India January 1st 2009 I used to work in Jaipur but recently came back to my home village because its cheaper, my Rupee stretches further. Yes, I was very lucky to get this job in my profession, I am being paid less in Rupee amounts than I had been making in […]

Also posted in Base of the Pyramid, Culture, Design, Economy, Expenses, Income, India, Research, rural, Savings, urban, User research | Leave a comment