Tag Archives: business model

Introducing The Global Prepaid Economy

This week, that venerable newspaper The Financial Times, published an original piece of writing on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog. Its not a reprint from their own publication. It proposes the end of “Emerging Markets” (EM) as we know them: Now, commentators say, it is the world’s mental map that is in dire need […]

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A design challenge for agric service innovation in rural Africa

Find a way to embed principles of sustainable good agriculture for the smallscale farmer in a socio-economically beneficial way. How would we do this? Where do we begin? The answers to these questions and more will be forthcoming on this blog. I reach out and encourage you all to consider submitting your thoughts and opinions […]

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Part 3: Synthesis and Insights from original research on rural economic behaviour

One can conclude from synthesizing the data collected across the geographies and the range of “BoP” income levels that rural households demonstrated similar patterns of behaviour in their management of household expenses on irregular income streams. These are: the rapid conversion of cash into tangible assets such as goods or livestock, the  subsequent storage of […]

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Why prepaid business models work so well for the rural and informal economy

We broke down the basic concept of the ‘pay as you go’ or prepaid mobile plan – in general, discounting the details of the various different strategies and pricing/time plans of different countries as a way to begin understanding what is it about this model that makes it work at the BoP. Could we somehow […]

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In sum

Irregular income streams from a variety of sources pose their own challenges to both buyers and sellers but offer an opportunity through the flexibility designed into business models for the informal economies where this pattern of cash flow tends to be much more prevalent. Flexibility is key, as well as the ability to negotiate on […]

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Cashpower: prepaid electricity in Rwanda

Maarja Motus, an Estonian designer and my recent intern spent 3 weeks in Rwanda recently conducting some research on my behalf. Here’s an extract from her report on Cashpower, the Rwandese term for prepaid electricity. An electricity agent (Cashpower agent) next to Kigali market has 300 customers, only 10 of them buy for whole month […]

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Innovations in transport business models across Europe

Spotted outside the Zuid Park Business Center in Amsterdam, this is a taxi stand cum charging station for electric vehicles. And its not the only one, as I saw the same taxis waiting at Schiphol airport. They were asking half the price of a regular taxi for the trip to the center of town. In […]

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Bridging the gap: boundary spanners in the informal economy

My recent diversion into exploring the increasing visibility of the informal economy in the developed world has been providing much food for thought on the perceived boundary between the formal and the informal. More so, than in Europe, does the need exist among the most economically challenged across the still developing world for ways and […]

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The Informal Economy Symposium, Barcelona on October 12th 2012

Our aim with this symposium is to explore the global scope, innovations and potential futures of the informal economy. Opening Keynote will be John Keith Hart, who coined the term “informal economy” and the day long symposium on the 12th of October will be closed by John Thackara.  There will be three panel discussions, as […]

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“Kadogo” kerosene vs “Lumpsum” LPG: Trade-offs and cost/benefit analysis

Following a fascinating conversation with @bankelele and @majiwater on Twitter regarding the cost of kerosene, pay as you go models and relative benefits of each, I’ve been inspired to write this post exploring the topic further. Before I proceed, I’d like to take a moment to clarify what the “Prepaid” in the title of this […]

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