Category Archives: Rural Economy

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 […]

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Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Livestock, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Philipines, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, Risk, rural, Savings, Scarcity, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Comprehensive Analysis of the Literature on Informal Cross Border Trade in East Africa

Download the comprehensive literature review (PDF) on informal cross border trade, in the context of the informal economy of the East African Community, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. This paper was supported by TradeMark East Africa during the period November 2015 to January 2016. A short extract from the preamble is given […]

Also posted in Africa, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Design, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Tanzania, Uganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frame Insights: Going back to first principles in the Innovation Planning Process

After conducting research, we need to bring structure to what has been found and learned. We sort, cluster, and organize the data gathered and begin to find important patterns. We analyze contextual data and view patterns that point to untapped market opportunities or niches. Finding insights and patterns that repeatedly emerge from multiple analyses of […]

Also posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Loans, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Risk, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, UCSD, Uganda, User research, Value | 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, Collection, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Literature review, Livestock, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, Tanzania, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A matter of timing: seasonal opportunities

These stalls full of water pistols and balloons sprouted overnight a couple of days before the spring festival of Holi (March 13th 2017) – these vendors are neither local nor regulars in the market complex. They’re here to offer seasonal products and might even have been invited by the local shopkeepers to provide attractive temporary […]

Also posted in Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Strategy, User research | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring the Scope of Biashara Economics

There’s a dearth of research on the economics of biashara – the everyday commerce that keeps daily life running. And this hampers the efficacy of the design of programmes and policies meant for operating environments where the informal economy may be providing employment for more than half the working age population, and often, as high […]

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Implicit Assumptions commonly held about Informal Markets

“Informal Economy” always means illegal, shadowy, gray. High volume of low value cash transactions imply poverty, ignorance, lack of sophisticated money management. Operating with a lack of infrastructure and institutions implies ignorance, lack of ambitions and aspirations, and motivation. Lack of cash implies lack of purchasing power – particularly in rural settings. Lack of formal […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Bridging East Africa’ formal – informal financial services divide

Kenya’s formal inclusion looks pretty, the financial inclusion industry has been has been great at talking up its achievements over the past 10 years. Here, 75.3% of Kenyans are now formally included, a 50.3% increase from 19 years ago. Official statistics on mobile phone penetration is up to 80.5% of the population and there is general […]

Also posted in Africa, Alternative currency, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Kenya, Loans, Mama Biashara, rural, Savings, Uganda | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment