Category Archives: Expenses

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 […]

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Some observed behaviour patterns in rural BoP households

Collage by Dave Tait Across the regions, we saw patterns of financial behaviour (download PDF) that echoed similarities of intent and goals. For example, at peak times such as the post harvest season, wealth was often stored in the form of grain (rice in the Philippines or wheat in India) and then converted to cash […]

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Quick summary of workshop findings

Our workshop officially ended today although there's still a lot of 'mopping up' to be done not to mention the final documentation. We had the opportunity to analyze groups of users observed and interviewed by me in rural Rajasthan (India) and a barangay in Iloilo (Philippines) as well as some basic personal financial management information […]

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The BoP are people too – a shift in storytelling

Reading the recent post on "Portfolios of the Poor: How the Poor Live on Less Than $2 a Day" by Rob Katz on nextbillion.net, it struck me that this might be an early signal of a shift away from simply segmenting the billions at the BoP by income, not that that isn't useful. But coverage […]

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Managing with seasonal income flow differences

Rice farmer, Iloilo Province, The Philippines, February 22nd 2009 Roger is the eldest of a family of seven. When he was 13 years old, he would watch his parents work hard in the fields as casual labour during the rice planting season to earn enough money to feed, clothe and educate him and his siblings. […]

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Creativity goes hand in hand with entreprenuership

Furniture designer & artisan, Iloilo Province, February 24th 2009 Jesse is just 30 years old. A year ago, he sold his motorcycle to obtain the working capital to start his own handmade furniture design workshop, here on the main road. He pays 300 pesos a month to rent this highly visible location and lives onsite. […]

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Inspired by pay as you go fresh water

  Gines Patag, The Philippines, February 21st, 2009 Right after my recent post where I wondered if business models and payment plans for those who live on irregular and unpredictable incomes could be designed to be as adaptable and flexible as the informal economy, I came across this snippet today that gives much food for […]

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Village shops: Malawi and The Phillippines

John Lumbe has begun sending in reports from Malawi after speaking with various small business owners. While I'll start getting them organized and published soon, here is something that caught my eye, even as I was going through my own photographs from my fieldwork in the Filipino barangay. Just look at both shops. photo credit: […]

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Primal patterns

Handmade furniture designer's workshop, February 24th 2009 I'm sitting here in my room at the Eugenio Lopez Conference center in the outskirts of MetroManila, on a hilltop to be exact, looking down at the poolside and the whole city, respectively from the french windows (pix later). The disparity of difference between this former mansion and […]

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The ability to choose your tradeoffs is empowering

Sari shop, Old Delhi, India, January 9th 2009 Sonia is just 26 years old. She went to work at age 9, when other little girls were going to school. She didn't say if she started working as a gofer in a beauty parlour after school and actually graduated, though it seems likely since she sounded […]

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