Tag Archives: flexibility

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, […]

Posted in Africa, Afrique francophone, Analysis, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Flexibility, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Savings, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, UEMOA | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why does the prepaid model work so well and what are the lessons for business model innovation?

Increasingly, employment is becoming ad hoc and flexible. The gig economy and the informal sector share a common characteristic of incomes which are irregular and unpredictable, unlike the timely wages characteristic of formal employment. Both budgeting and planning thus become a challenge when there’s no predictable paycheck to rely on. Expenses are managed against cash […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Income, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity

There are two key elements which underpin the dynamics of any business or commercial enterprise in the informal sector. These are Time and Money. A generalized framework can be diagrammed, as shown above, where the dotted line denotes the degree of uncertainty and volatility of an individual’s cash flow patterns – whether from a variety […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Migrant worker, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Risk, Rural Economy, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Poverty is Dynamic and Flexible, Just like the Informal Economy: Evidence from India

…the concept of poverty today is fundamentally different from that of poverty three decades ago, and that safety nets need to be tailored to meet the needs of a society in transition.~ The Hindu, 2 Aug 2016 When quantitative data provided by the India Human Development Survey (the first large panel survey in India) provokes […]

Posted in Analysis, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Ecosystem, Frameworks, India, Informal & Flexible, Literature review, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysing shifts in consumer household purchasing patterns – Milk ATMs in Kenya

“We are selling one litre at Sh65, but a consumer can get as little as 77ml at a cost of Sh5. All one needs to do is key in the amount they require, and the product is dispensed,” Gitonga, who procures his machines from Italy, said. Flexibility is the key to survival, indeed. This quote […]

Posted in Africa, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Income, Informal & Flexible, Kenya, Research, urban, User research | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

Affordability is not the same as a lower price point

Third party informal kerosene sales point deep interior of rural Eastern Kenya. Photo credit: Niti Bhan Absolute price of a product has always been assumed to be the means to successfully reach the BoP customer and the concept of affordable is often a synonym for cheaper. While price bands do matter when targeting this market, […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Expenses, Flexibility, Frugality, Income, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Value | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

More or Less: the flexibility of the informal

One of the things that stood out for me during the recent household consumer behaviour study was the lack of weights and measurements used to sell foodstuffs and commodities in the market. There were no weighing scales at all, unless they themselves were for sale. Instead, some form of “socially accepted” measure was used to […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Economy, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , | 1 Response

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 […]

Posted in Analysis, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Expenses, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Rural Economy, User research | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 […]

Posted in Alternative currency, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Flexibility, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Research, Strategy, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Barcelona and informality

The ancient Roman town of Barsino, or Barcelona, the Catalan capital in Spain, was the location for the recently concluded symposium on the Informal Economy. Short overview of the conference is here, while on Flickr you’ll find my overdose on Antoni Gaudi as well as just the myriads of eyecatching details of the city. I’ve […]

Posted in Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Flexibility, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, UCSD | Also tagged , | Leave a comment