Category Archives: Frugality

Looking back at 2020 from Mama Mboga’s eyes: The Pandemic as Natural Disaster

I am moved today by my work to look back at this agonizingly long year of separations and losses and delays for peoples around the world. Uncertainty and complexity have both increased, and economic volatility has become the order of the day, regardless of the development status of the region or location. More people in […]

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Closing the Circle: Can integration of the flows in the post consumption ecosystem of Global North & South aid resilient recovery for all?

It was in July 2009 that I first attempted to visualize the significantly large subsector of informal recycling that fed the informal industrial ecosystem with re-processed ‘raw’ materials for their manufacturing output. The first draft was based on what I’d seen and documented in The Philippines, and in India, during the fieldwork for the ‘prepaid […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, China, Consumer Behaviour, East African Community, Economy, Ecosystem, Ghana, global, India, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Senegal, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, Uganda, User research | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Informal Industrial Ecosystem: An Introduction to REculture

This article introduces and explains some things I’ve been seeing in the informal industrial ecosystem in the developing world context for almost a decade now. First noticed in 2009, I then named it REculture, a neologism to capture the vast and complex ecosystem I saw in the revenue generating facility of recycle, replace, repurpose, reuse […]

Also posted in Articles on Design and Innovation, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Ecosystem, Emerging Futures, Emerging Markets, global, Perspective, REculture, Research, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Resilience of Innovation under Conditions of Scarcity

Innovating beyond the traditional tin lantern – a simple wick attached to the can – Kouassi Bafounga cuts shapes from tin cans and fixes them together with glass, string and a little petrol to produce storm-proof lanterns. Last year, Bafounga was one of 11 winners in a “Fab Lab” innovation competition run by the French […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consommateurs, Design, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Marchés africains, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, FMCG, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, Scarcity, Strategy, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

  The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 3rd and final part will focus on fuel […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Expenses, FMCG, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, East African Community, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, Scarcity, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

How to Spot Signals of Local Purchasing Patterns in the Market

This photograph is taken from a regular news item from a Liberian newspaper announcing the opening of a new petrol station in the town of Ganta. What caught my attention is the size of the LPG cylinders being promoted. On the left is the 6kg and on the right is an even smaller size that […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Income, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, urban, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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